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Dads in the art of archery, Part 1

Dads in the art of archery, Part 1

by Wolf Pascoe on May 26, 2011


When the bond between heaven and earth is broken, only a story can mend it.

— The Baal Shem Tov


Sometimes I hear a story and it won’t go away. The story of the archer and his arrows is like that for me. I first heard it one evening during a meeting of my men’s group. For the life of me, I don’t remember what led up to it.

One man, Xavier, said, “Have you heard the story of the archer and the arrows?”

No one had.

Xavier told the story. It dropped into the room like a like a stone in a still pond. There was a long silence after. I can still feel it rippling.

I thought the best way to share the story was to have Xavier tell it again just as he did that night. So I asked if he wouldn’t mind. He agreed.

I went to his house with a small digital recorder and we sat down together. I worried it might take a few tries and I would have to knit them together on the computer later.

Silly me.

Xavier told the story once into the small microphone, never hesitating. He wove the spell again, taking a little over three minutes. When he was done we both knew there was no need for anything further.

I’ve posted the story below. It’s a sound file, not a video. The pictures are in your head. You can click on the play button to hear it, but I need to tell you two things before you do.

First, as I mentioned, the story takes just over three minutes. I know how busy you are. If you’re feeling rushed or impatient, I urge you not to listen now, but to bookmark the page and come back to it when your mood is more leisurely.

Second, I don’t want to say anything about the story until after you’ve heard it. In fact, you might not even want to read about my response to it. In any case, that’s for next time.






[haiku url=”https://justaddfather.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Archer-story.mp3″]

. . .



This is the first post in a two part series.
Read: Dads in the art of archery, Part 2

Bowling in America



Zen in the Art of Archery — Painless. You never even feel the arrow.

. . .


Any thoughts on the story? Loose your arrow. I always respond here.


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara May 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm

What a great intro! I can’t wait to hear the story, but want to wait until I can give it my full attention as you suggested – which isn’t now. I’ll be back…


Wolf Pascoe May 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Let me know if it’s worth the wait!


Kristen @ Motherese May 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I think Xavier should pursue work reading books on tape (are those now called books on mp3?). He’s a natural! Thank you both for sharing a story I’d never before heard.

I don’t want to offer any spoilers for those who might visit here before they’ve listened, so I’ll simply say that motherhood – or, perhaps more accurately, being a household manager – has offered me frequent opportunities to feel like a target painter.


Wolf Pascoe May 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Thanks, Kristen. I’ll let Xavier know he has a future in the Land of MP3.


Charles Bernstein May 27, 2011 at 2:34 am

Speaking as a friend of Xavier, I’m impressed that he did it in one take.


Wolf Pascoe May 27, 2011 at 8:06 am

One could take that two ways, Charles.


Sirena May 30, 2011 at 8:57 am

Wonderful story by a wonderful reader. I’m now in search of my own personal target painter (or the modern equivalent).


Wolf Pascoe May 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Let me know when you find one.


BigLittleWolf May 30, 2011 at 11:39 am

Like Barbara, I will need to come back when I am not interrupted, and truly enjoy this tale…


Wolf Pascoe May 30, 2011 at 10:14 pm

J’espère que ça vous amuse


Bill Stapp June 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Absolutely wonderful! Beautifully told, I have a grandmother who is blind and she loved it. Thanks.


Lori Thatcher June 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Beautifully told story.
I think I subscibe to the King’s philosophy, in a way, simply by (occasionally)revising my determination of what it was that was my target after all.


Wolf Pascoe June 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm

An enlightened philosophy, to my way of thinking.


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