life in the no fly zone

There have been many interesting things to observe of late, Gentle Reader. Just when things seem to begin to make sense, another vista opens up and yes, there’s more. Sense is a few steps farther away.

It may just be that after all this time my brain is able to parse what’s going on around it- after quivering like a jelly for months in recoil from what it was observing. Meditation has of course been a foundation and even though there is a fair amount of time spent in, oh wait a minute! That’s attachment or ill will or dammit how many breaths was it? there still has been some awareness dawning.

I realized at long last that given the history of this country, of western civilization in general, there’s no way around seeing the flaw at the heart of all of it. The inequity and cruelty we see all around us is not going away and until we all wake up a bit more we’re stuck in this roundelay of crap. The question is, beyond cleaning up one’s own act, as always, what is to be done?

I had three experiences back to back illustrating this, and amazingly enough I didn’t have images of myself smashing the other people’s craniums with a ball peen hammer. Progress!

I read something in an old book that said, Hostility does not need a response, and Be hard on the problem, not the person. So, in the midst of a harried day of errands I found myself in a farm supply store, talking to the salesperson about what I was looking for which they did not appear to have. In the middle of all this concerted conversation, a man (White and maskless) steps up in between the store employee and me (both masked, we’re going back into an ugly Covid tier here as we speak) and says, I need something for “x”. Proceeded to talk so no one could interject anything. Took a few minutes of time, which I was running short of. At long last he looked at me and said to the salesperson, Oh, she was here first and you were helping her, go ahead. I couldn’t help but laugh, and said, oh! you noticed! It dawned on me right there and then that this man was really completely unaware of what he was doing in the situation, how he was barging in and behaving as if nobody else had any business or concern that even mattered, and how what we had there was a text book case of White Patriarchal Privilege. It simply never occurred to him to question his assumption that HE and HIS WISHES were the only important thing. The employee was only there to serve him, and I was beneath notice. It didn’t even make me mad at long last, but it made me wonder just how this basic attitude can be addressed. You can attach any -ist or -ism to this behavior, like sexist, racist, on and on. It’s a bulwark of this society whether anyone wants to accept that or not. This person had no ill will or anything of the sort, but was operating on the set of instructions he’d been given. The sales person was tensing up a bit and I said, oh please. Go ahead, even though it really isn’t your turn. I’ll wait. He actually blushed a bit. I decided to count that as a successful interlude and thus armed went on to Number Two.

Number Two was a bit more menacing, given that it involved yet another….Man of a Certain Sort, who decided that he wanted to get gas at the pump he could, in fact, clearly see me driving into, almost completely, even though all the others were free. So he? guns his car and pulls forward quickly, almost running into me. (We might note that for both these interludes I was wearing my favorite 20th century Big Dogs t-shirt, with a St. Bernard in sunglasses bearing the words: BAD TO THE BONE. Just saying….) I stopped short of the final spot, honked my horn lightly to get him to actually make eye contact, which took a while. Pointed to myself, pointed to the gas pump, held up one finger (index, relax!) to indicate my spot in “line”, and just smiled a bit and kept looking at him. Thinking, do not ascribe motive here. Or pass judgment on this poor person’s IQ. Just pray that no one else in this crazy rodeo of a parking lot runs into you. He finally looked at me, with a rather dazed expression I couldn’t interpret, and backed up into his proper gas pump spot. Kindness is always better, even if it is mostly more difficult to maintain. Once you actually have to go outside, I mean. Feeling as though I had finally gotten past a sticking point of taking this a$$#0!ish behavior as anything other than a sort of mass, historical brainwashing and thus fortified to keep being kind while taking no shit, we got to this morning.

Hey! it’s a “holiday”/shopping opportunity today here. “Labor Day” which, when you think about it now, is kind of laughable. Especially since employers are now ranting about how people “don’t want to work anymore, unemployment is too easy.” Uhm, no. It’s that they no longer are willing to knock themselves out every day for a wage that they cannot support themselves on. But I digress. We were awoken shortly after the sun rose by gunfire, large caliber it sounded like, that went on for over an hour. Forgive me, Gentle Reader, when I say this is not OK. The fire danger right here right now is so intense that coughing wrong could cause a disaster. Hours of gunfire, random and constant, poses a real threat of conflagration. In addition, being awoken from sleep by prolonged rounds of gunfire is really not good for anybody. I found myself thinking about everyone on the planet who is being subjected to this, and so much worse.. As a result, with my newfound brave new attitude, a haze of exhaustion, and genuine curiosity I hazarded a post on the, yes, HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION facebook page, asking if anyone knew what all that was.

What I got was a response that said, we live in the country, people can do what they want. And, it’s dove season. I was already a bit stressed by my bank being inaccessible due to some sort of web crash, to be honest. That didn’t stop me from considering the following: A) There’s a sign at the entry way to this travesty of a development that says NO HUNTING. PRIVATE PROPERTY. B) The person who responded that “we live in the country” has a big sign on the road in front of her house that says RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD. This is about a half mile from us. C) We pay homeowner association dues as well, so if we’re in the country, what in the hell are those for? Also, doves as you may know are small birds. This sounded like AR fire (incredibly I can differentiate now, fun in the boonies). A corollary C1 might also be that there are many people in this whateveritis neighborhood who cannot, legally, bear arms or purchase ammunition. Ankle bracelets and all.

All this left me with a choice to make. I went back to the facebook page and said, yes, we’ve been here a long time too but the fire danger this year should be everyone’s primary consideration, keeping everyone up here safe and intact. ( I did not mention that it isn’t exactly hunting to blow a small bird to smithereens with an automatic weapon.) This entry got me two likes, which bucked me up enough to realize that my New Moon resolution was to at long last, while doing no harm, in fact take no shit. We’ll see how this goes.

It has just been strange lately to experience simultaneously a LOVE for ALL, and realize that there are individuals out there who seem impervious to love. SO. I decided to put that awareness on the back burner, it is what it is, none of us really knows what anyone else is feeling or thinking, much less what WE may be feeling or thinking….. and the task still is to go forth with openness and (at least an attempt at ) kindness. I think it’s working since so far nobody has shot at me!

Blessings and thanks, and please take care! Wear your masks, too. (The nonogenarian Betty White remarked at the beginning of all this that she had no patience with people saying masks were hot or uncomfortable. Try wearing a bra in August! she said. I do love her…..)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: