LolaAs a psychologist I do a fair amount of arm-chair traveling, and I love to hear about my clients’ treks to Nepal, their bike trips through Europe and their adventures in Greece, China, South America and Africa.  I like to hear about it when they meet Barack Obama, and when they do their moving and shaking (and of course to help them when they face their fears and sorrows).  I also like to hear about it when they meet special creatures out on their ramblings.  The noble beast pictured here is Lola, who is reportedly extremely affectionate.  She lives on a farm in Vermont and is the farm-family’s pet.  She is also both male and female, and therefore I nominate Lola as Privilege of Parenting’s honorary mascot, and de-facto parenting expert.

I recently attended a workshop on the I Ching, a 3,000 year old Chinese wisdom text and oracle, taught by a leading expert on the I Ching and comparative mythology, Stephen Karcher.  Conversant in Chinese, he mentioned that the Chinese have a word, “Mu,” that essentially means “yes” and “no” at the same time.  It also means “no thing” and “nothing” — a great Chinese response to impossible questions, and therefore highly relevant to parenting.  So, when we really don’t know what to do as parents, we can ask Lola, who will inevitably answer, “Mu!”

So, let’s dedicate today to parenting all our kids in all their diversity, and to the loving embrace of the ten thousand impossible questions that parenting raises.  To quote the Kink’s song,

“Girls will be boys and boys will be girls

Its a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola.”

Namaste, Bruce


5 Responses to “Mu!”

  1. sandysays1 Says:

    My human says that’s great advice for grandparenting, too. Visit me at

  2. Red Book Diaries « Privilegeofparenting’s Blog Says:

    […] medicine and also carries its own particular spirit, the answer to that question is probably Mu; I said, without thinking, to the woman next to me, “It’s a temple,” by which I meant that […]

  3. Word One « Privilegeofparenting’s Blog Says:

    […] In fact, some say it’s just about the hardest test in the world, spanning two days where one writes on one’s area of expertise, but also on general subjects—and from that single word from which one was expected to craft an essay of such dazzling breadth, depth and import that All Souls would embrace you as one of them.  Other Monty Pythonesque questions such as, “Does the moral character of an orgy change when the participants wear Nazi uniforms?” challenge the writer to kink and unkink the neural networks.  [One word answer:   Mu.] […]

  4. rebecca @ altared spaces Says:

    Language is to be played with and you’ve done an excellent job of playing here while adding a bit of sunny enlightenment.

    I had a great cow moment myself. I live in rancher country where I am the exception because I don’t raise cows. One night as I was driving up the canyon I read a sign, “Lost cows hear.”

    The zen of that transported me.

    What, exactly, do lost cows hear? Do they hear the way home? Do they hear the wisdom of the ages, making them not really so very lost? It was a wonderful idea to ponder.

    Then, with a laugh, I realized the rancher who’d lost his cows simply couldn’t spell. He meant, “Lost cows here,” hoping someone would find them and alert him. I had a good laugh and decided, once again, that life is a journey, for cows (lost or found) and for me.

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