The Windmill (c) by John Winston Powell, M.A.

ImageThe Windmill  © by John Winston Powell, M.A.

Inspired by One Minute Wisdom by Anthony de Mello, SJ, and Zen Guitar by Philip Toshido.

The new guitarist came to Jesus’ loft a bit down.                        

“Yashua, I am so boring….the most boring guitar player ever in the history of rock.”

“Why would you say this, my friend?”

“When I play….I hardly move.  I’m afraid.  I stand in the darkest corner of the stage.  The rest of the girls in the band are practically elevating the stage with their craziness, but I just…am there, barely moving the strings of my Rickenbacker.”

“You are under the illusion of the windmill,” said the Master.

“What do you mean, Yashua?”

“Watch this,” Jesus said, turning on the TV/VCR combo that had been obsolete for 20 years but spoke of his thriftiness living in Chicago:

“You could have done the windmill as a kid, watching this video of Pete Townshend, or seeing him at a Who concert.  But as you know, a windmill’s action is illusionary.  Townshend looks like a propeller with eight arms, but it is one.”

“But…, the disciple said watching the video,…’’it is exciting.”

“What is exciting is this, my long haired friend:

The moment before you strike the string.

The purity of your intention when the string is struck.


The new man put on his Rickenbacker and, for the first time, did his own windmill, ending with a fatty E-minor chord.

Jesus nodded.

(Note:  I took this picture of multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone of Wilco, a disciple of Townshend’s, at this past summer’s Solid Sound Festival!)


About johnpowell1020

Middle-aged theology teacher who believes in the best of life's paradoxes. Loves God, Lisa, his family, The Beatles, Wilco, great music, the Chicago Cubs, the University of Florida , Barry University, teaching, photography, the piano, documentaries, Autumn, Clover & India, peacocks, and so much more....
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