pfütze

The dojo master stood up. ‘Hold!’ he commanded. 'Do you not want to know the name of the man you are about to destroy?’


The fighter held his stance, glaring at Lu-Tze. 'I don’t need to know name of sweeper,’ he said.


Lu-Tze rolled the cigarette into a skinny cylinder and winked at the angry man, which only stoked the anger.


'It is always wise to know the name of a sweeper, boy,’ said the dojo master. 'And my question was not addressed to you.’

—  Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time
He was sitting by the side of the street, watching carefully, with his begging bowl in front of him. There were of course far more interesting and complex ways for a History Monk to avoid being noticed, but he’d adopted the begging bowl method ever since Lu-Tze had shown him that people never see anyone who wants them to give him money.
—  Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time
Deal with a thing while it is still nothing;
Keep a thing in order before disorder sets in.
A tree that can fill the span of a man’s arms
Grows from a downy tip;
A terrace nine storeys high
Rises from hodfuls of earth.
—  Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Lobsang gulped freezing air and fell onwards –

- where the light was suddenly a calm pale blue and Lu-Tze was trotting gently between the frozen carts and unmoving people around the city’s gate.

‘See? Nothing to it,’ said the sweeper. ‘Just maintain, that’s all. Nice and steady.’

It was like balancing on a wire. It was fine if you didn’t think about it.

‘But all the scrolls say you go to blue and violet and into the black and than you hit the wall.’ said Lobsang.

‘Ah, well, scrolls,’ said Lu-Tze, and left it there, as if the tone of voice said it all. ‘This is Zimmerman’s Valley, lad. It helps if you know it’s here. The abbot said it’s something to do with … what was it? Oh, yeah, boundary conditions. Something like … the foam on the tide. We’re right on the edge, boy’

‘But I can breathe easily!’

‘Yeah. Shouldn’t happen. Keep moving about though, otherwise you’ll exhaust all the good air around your body field. Good old Zimmerman, eh? One of the best, he was. And he reckoned there was another dip even closer to the wall, too.

‘Did he ever find it?’

‘Don’t think so.’

‘Why?

‘The way he exploded gave me a hint. Don’t worry! You can maintain the slice easily here. You don’t have to think about it. You’ve got other things to think about! Keep an eye on those clouds!’

Terry Pratchett (Thief of Time)