Posts Tagged ‘guns’

Life in the fast lane

One recent morning started with a phone call about a death, and continued on, as I afterwards crawled toward the makings of life giving coffee, to frozen pipes.  Needless to say, by the time we lugged in the big container of (semi frozen) water we keep outside for these kinds of situations, the pipes unfroze and the miracle of caffeine was therefore forthcoming.  Sometimes I wonder if I really have developed some sang-froid about things, or if at long last it’s just All Gotten To Me.  I almost didn’t care.  Finally, of course, we did the sensible thing, which is to fill up several containers of water one night, leaving them to be used in frosty mornings.  Which although there have been many lately, the pipes, no doubt knowing that we’re Prepared, have stayed flexible and flowing.  Just shows you.

In the meantime, the Partner had what *I* think is a brilliant “gun control” idea.  Just make assault rifles and fully automatic weapons REALLYREALLYREALLY expensive.  Wouldn’t that be sensible?   Then, even at all the gun shows and places where guns trade hands, they’d still be way pricey.  Putting them out of the convenience realm, into a more Prada-esque spot.  At least for the regular shoppers, and not the people who get their guns directly from…well.  Who knows?  Not Walmart, anyway.   In the meantime, all I can say is, REALLY?  How many more times do we have to have this exact same non-conversation?  This is one crazy country, really, the States.  Yes, the right to keep and bear arms is important.  However.  Like everything else there should be some common sense and rational thought involved.   The average citizenry really don’t need guns and ammo that turn human bodies into gelatinous nothing-ness and can do it eighty times in thirty seconds.  What, and who? are we defending ourselves from?  Because it seems to me that the really scary and threatening stuff? is not amenable, at least in my life, to use of that particular negotiating tool, tempting as it may be.  We live in a society that boasts the highest prison population in the world (or close- maybe we’re only number two!); has a small percentage of the world’s total population yet has 50% of the firearms available to its public; and, in which public entertainment features corpses, violence and blood, not to mention vituperation and rudeness, on a constant basis.  Then people act surprised when the sh*t hits the f@n.  I find THAT more confusing than the fact that people do go over the edge and do terrible things.

Still.  The Sisyphusian nature of reality is something I’ve been thinking about lately.  You know, the guy who had to roll a boulder up hill as his Appointed Task, and as soon as he got it to the top, it would roll right back down.  He’d start over, and…..It reminded me of the Buddhist story about Milarepa and Marpa the Translator, one of whom was teacher and the other student although I can’t remember who was who.  Anyway, the student was told by the teacher to stack a quantity of rocks up.  This, he got to to over and over and over and over.  Finally, he understood.  Sisyphus never did, far as I know.  It’s an interesting analysis of reality though, and how we deal with it.  In some way, and Buddhism recognizes this in a way that what we may call the Abrahamic religions do not seem to, life is really about stacking those rocks, pushing that boulder, all of it.  Over and over.  The point may really be to give up the thinking about accomplishment and domination (this hill! then the next one! my rock tower will be the biggest! etc.) and all the things that our mind creates around things, and simply focus on the task itself.  The things themselves then, the rocks and everything around them, ultimately take on a light of their own and there is a peace in all that that is notably lacking in the push and shove mode.  Of course then one gets to deal with fear and all the other things that exist  in one’s head whilst progressing to a more illuminated spot.  But, it really is true: focus on the work itself and stay in the present.  Easy to say.  Hard to do at times.  Things, though, do move and change is the essence of everything even when it seems to be standing still- pay attention to small things and eventually you see miracles (Pablo Casals) and have ever expanding moments of peace and, yes, love.  Today’s effort in that realm today was, for one thing, to clean up my email.  YE GODS.  Never again, let’s just say.  I had to review the entirety of the last three years just to get through all the stuff I’d saved for later…..ugh!  It was like hangers! or rabbits!  There seemed to be MILLIONS of those pesky emails multiplying before my eyes and God only knows where they all came from.  And this was all even without the endless notifications about my criminal record, inheritance from Ghana or the Hague, and suggestions for anatomical improvements to a body I don’t possess.   My goodness, we’ve been BUSY.  In any event, my new motto is: the delete button is your friend, unless you like having your hand look like the Claw of Things Past.  This necessity to pay attention and keep things simple runs through everything in life, of course.  I’m just wondering when I’m going to be finished going through the wreckage, since this period of time seems to be largely involved with re-doing all the things that didn’t have adequate foundations to begin with.  Which appears to involve a whole lotta stuff, Gentle Reader.  There is something really interesting, though, in looking at things in a totally different way than ever before, and mostly I guess I have to say I am grateful for this opportunity. (Really! bwahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa……)  It feels as though we may all be flying through the air by the seat of our pants for quite some time to come; perhaps it really is about coming to our collective senses and learning to enjoy the ride.  Regardless of the mode of transport.

Miracle of the Ice Block

I have discovered a miraculous new tool!  Those little blue thingys you freeze and put in coolers and things?  Fabulous for viral  smack meltdowns.  Like when you have the worst headache perhaps ever? and you are nauseous, can’t keep anything down? Plus for extra fun the residual cough and nasal congestion?  Not to mention alternating fever and chills?  This may seem counter intuitive but it does work.  First, rest the ice block against the base of your skull at the neck- nausea is triggered in the brain stem interestingly enough, and the accompanying inflammation from the headache also can be centered in that area.  A half hour of chill, then another few minutes on the sinuses and forehead, then the ice block can be transferred to the solar plexus where it settles down the rest of the dry heavingness of the abdominal area.  In about an hour you are released, in large enough part to be all good, from the what might have seemed like an eternal pit of pain.   The things you learn when in extremis in the boondocks.

So, it’s been two weeks of Living Germy Hell.   Being that sick and in pain was interesting.  Anything anyone does that makes you feel slightly better seems like a miracle performed by a genius.  As always, however, the essential element of it is surrender of a sort.  You have to soften to the pain so it flows, in a sense, through you, and out.   The fear that comes up, say, when you can’t breathe for eight hours, or your pain just goes up and up and seems to be about to completely take over,  is intense- but it must be let go.  It is as though you go through an incredible trial, something you think you can’t possibly manage, and somehow as the rocky bottom looms if you can drop your opinion about it, not feel antagonism for this thing that is inflicting such pain, the grip it has on you and you on it, is released.  This, of course, is what has to happen with every challenge, every difficulty.  Our human minds think of success so often in very limited terms- it’s only good if everything stays just as it was, whatever illness or problem you experience simply leaves and you go back to the way you were before.

The thing of it is, you can’t be the way you were before anyway.  The way you were before led  you to where you are now.  This means choices are available whether or not you see them, and although nature may be habitual in its’ workings, it is also composed of constant, swirling change.   So you either can flow or be dragged.  Fun, yes?

I’ve been thinking about how all this end of the world stuff is a lot about how people don’t want to have to experience change. Let’s just end it so I don’t have to shoulder this responsibility.  However, as we have seen this very week, things don’t really work that way.  We completed the 13th baktun on schedule, thank you very much.  So as the artificially constructed so-called fiscal cliff looms, and I continue to wonder how the Boehner of our existence has come to wield so much unthinking power, and how the priorities are so totally askew as to be something you’d think to see on some sci-fi monster flick instead of being slung out in gobbets of media bites- I just wonder.   It is true, I think, that once you actually start being somewhat self actualized, cultivating awareness, you begin to see that much of what is presented as truth in the society is quite clearly not that.  In fact, mostly we’re talking bald faced lies.   We are not in a democratic, fair society any more.  Everyone does not have an equal chance, and that inequality is being cemented into place in ways people don’t even see.  The horrors of something like the recent school shooting are not about gun laws- which are about, at bottom, the economics of whoever makes the weapons continuing to make money.  Guns are, after all, big business.  And big business at present trumps all.  These horrors are about the divisive hold fear (which to me is fomented by just this skewed system of values- that someone can get rich making and selling things the only purpose of which is to kill PEOPLE.   An assault rifle, after all,  is correctly named.  It ain’t for hunting animals.)  has on our society and world.  The thought that having an armed guard at every school will help is on a par with thinking that building a wall on the Jersey shore will keep the rising ocean away.  WE all have to change, and participate.  We have to wake up, Gentle Reader.  That poor young man who emerged from the basement of his mother’s large home, which was full of guns to protect from….uh, what?  He needed help he did not get, and it shouldn’t have been that difficult to provide. Attention really must be paid.  So many things are like this- the behavior itself is pounced on and prohibited (sex? alcohol? drugs? murder? theft?) without any action toward instruction that would help someone make a mental construct that would allow them to see for themselves that these externally driven actions are not the answer.  Some people need more help than others, too.  Some people seem not to be able to be helped.  We still have to try, and that help must be available.  A draconian return to religious law of any stripe, economic policies that condemn so many to poverty- neither of these are going to provide what we need now.  Also, just saying, I think if we truly do find the murder of children disturbing, we need to stop doing it on a policy level ourselves.

Amazing what the brain does on a virus, isn’t it?  Still.  Peace, love, and happiness all round is what I hope for, and wish you all: Happy solstice and harmony in the new year!