Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Yesterday was a tough day.

*My son decided to search for his birth mother.

*A neighbor stopped by mid-afternoon to scold me for leaving my garage door open. "It was open when I went for a walk. And it's been open all afternoon, every time I checked," he said. This man is 70ish. He has the puffy nose and ruddy complexion of a drinker and his ears give proof to the idea that certain body parts never stop growing. He was quite agitated over my garage door. "You shouldn't do that!" Long pauses and trailing sentences told he how badly he wanted to scold me for the sad state of affairs inside my garage, too, but he restrained himself.

Me? I apologized. Several times. I thanked him for his concern for my safety (which clearly had no part in his indignation) and agreed that I should not leave the door open. Every time he restated the magnitude of my offense, I apologized and said I hadn't realized my mistake. I even waved and thanked him again as he waited on my driveway to make sure I closed the door.

*My mother called. Her response to the news about Evan was this: "It won't that bad if you don't make it worse, Jerri." I agreed, telling her over and over how fine I am and how well everything is going to work out.

*My cell phone suffered a mysterious and untimely death. I was in the Sprint store for an hour and a half. The conversations there don't bear repeating except to note that I was entirely docile while being TOTALLY SCREWED by a company I've been handing piles of money to for over 15 years.


I tell myself to find my Buddha-nature, to see these people as my teachers, to rise above. But maybe the lesson is not tolerance and forbearance, but boundaries. Maybe the point is to learn to say "Shut the *&$# up!" Maybe this stuff will keep happening until I give voice to the roar building inside me. Lord knows my doormat impersonation has not led to peace or happiness. Maybe a few well timed roars would do the trick.

I recommend ear plugs if you come over here today to point out any of my more glaring flaws.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

This is my personal demon du jour, too. Yea, yea, they're our teachers and all that, but we're THEIR teachers, too, right? Maybe THEY are in the greater need of a lesson? Just a thought.

Doubting thomas said...

One parable regarding the Buddha bears repeating.

When the venerable disciple Anata once asked the Buddha to exchange his robes so that he, Anata, could wash the Holy One's dirty garments, and thereby present a better face to the throngs of students who came to study, the Buddha smiled benignly and said to Anata,

"Mind your own fuckin' business."

The venerable Anata was momentarily shocked, until he recognized how very much awake he suddenly felt at the hearing of these unexpected words. Thrust back in on himself and away from his worrisome projections, it was at that moment that Anata achieved full and permanent enlightenment, and from thenafter all viewed him as the most beloved of all the disciples.

Well, okay, that probably didn't happen.

But neither is Buddha nature defined as passivity. There is Buddha nature in everything that arises, including a moment of anger honestly experienced.

I kinda hope that somebody else does come by to criticize you today....

And I hope you get a little angry, and can accept the bare experience of it.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Well. I suggest you think of a moment when you did stand up for yourself and replay it in your head, over and over.

You've been hit with a lot latley and you're vulnerable, but you are NOT a little wimp.

You fix toilets & stuff.

luckyzmom said...

"Maybe this stuff will keep happening until I give voice to the roar building inside me." It did to me. My indignant outbursts towards service people would embarass my husband and children until I started to realize I was barking up the wrong tree. When I would think about my responses later I would usually see where I was wrong or how I could have handled it more affectively and I too would be embarassed. Once I made a conscious effort to be more aware and less reactive the "stuff" happened less and less frequently, but it took awhile and I still have moments.

Deb said...

Roar away dear friend. And then be really kind to yourself because you're walking through fire these days. I have every confidence in your ability to come through this - every bit of it - with grace and healing.

Is your phone fixed?

Much love and many hugs.

kario said...

You know, from time to time there is just nothing as empowering and cleansing as an enormous ROAR. No matter how hard you try to find your Buddha nature, you are human and occasionally it just feels really damn good to yell.

Especially when you're right.


Go Mama said...

Yes they are your teachers. They are teaching you to stand the F up for yourself! C'mon J. Read it back again.

Let's recap:
OK, the son- if this were a movie, I'd see that one coming. It was inevitable. The timing just sucks.

The old man? What's it to him if you leave your garage door open for a fricken month?! None of his business. Let them all rob you blind. Still none of his business. Your property. Your rules. Ah, thanks for sharing, mate.

The mom? I love her to pieces and she can bake a mean coffee cake and blog about it later, but where's that motherly nurturing and support when you need it? You shouldn't have to apologize to her.

And the last one - "I was entirely docile while being TOTALLY SCREWED"--

Stand up, J. Own yourself. Own your Self. Draw a circle in the sand and stand in the middle of it. Your eyes to heaven and your feet in the sand. Own your power.

And use your voice. You can do it with a smile on your face if you feel better about that, but no way anyone's comin' inside that circle without your permission.

(sorry for layin it on thick. Enormous and protective love to you!)

Nancy said...

Roar! Really loud! and it will likely uncover gentleness beneath.

George said...

I would be tempted to leave that garage door open night and day.

One thing I do like your leaving open is your heart...and you do it so well here and over at Haven's. I feel like we could be good friends.

...and you are a great writer.