Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The point of the pointless story... or "Let Go, Let Me"...

Let me preface this little slice of my head.... While I'm not a practicing member of any one religion, those who've known me longest know that I've found the balance beam of Buddhism to my liking for some time. I call it a balance beam because it is actual work. You don't just say "Okay" to Buddhism as you may with Christianity. In a very existential sense, you don't so much practice Buddhism as you do work on it. It's work. And I am only on the fundamentals. Believe me on this, for me, just getting started is nearly Sisyphusian - to stretch an analogy. But I find it worthwhile... which is why things like this happen...

I've been working a whole lot on detachment. I tend to hang on to things too long - everyone say "No Duh!" - and that's a lot of energy wasted, like sand running through your fist. Detachment is hard for me with the easiest of things - I still have a box of MAD magazines from the 1980's in my old apartment that I know I can't move to the new apartment but I hate the thought of throwing away - and when it comes to hard stuff, well, who are we kidding?

So, as you know, I moved this past weekend. We got Vicky's refrigerator set up - oh, and by the way, according to her, we have an ice-making fridge because I am all about the crushed ice. It's all me, baby. So, this means we don't need mine. I don't need mine. But I bought it new just a few years ago. I hated the thought of just giving it to Goodwill. I wanted this one to go to someone I knew, help someone out I could put a face on. Vicky found someone. His name's Gary and he has a large family and he could use another fridge. Okay, then, it would go to Gary.

But Gary couldn't find the time to pick it up. We finally got him pinned down to last night. He'd show up at 6pm and pick it up.

I went to the apartment after work to pack up a few things. The things I'm now packing are getting smaller and smaller. Not less significant, though, so I pack them. When Vicky showed, I went out to her car... and we waited.

And then we found out that Gary would be late. He wouldn't be there until 7:30pm.

"Let's just go home and come back later," Vicky suggested.

"No! I don't wanna!" I said like a baby. "I don't wanna drive on the freeway! I don't wanna!"

So, there I was. Mr. Enlightened. Holding on tight to the plans that were made. I even thought "I'm giving it away for a little good Karma! I shouldn't have to wait!" Folks, you don't get Karma. You don't earn Karma. It doesn't work like that. What is simply is. You do good out of goodness. There is no reward.

Oh, I wanted good Karma and I do believe in good Karma but it's not a reward. The good that you put in the world increases the goodness in the world - not in your bank account!

Mr. Enlightened - I use that phrase sarcastically - slowly got it, though, and slowly acquiesced. Driving home - and it's so strange, calling that "home"... I'll get used to it. Driving home was actually far less painful that I thought. Once I let go of my demands and fears, I found I could enjoy it.

So, we returned at 7:30... and we waited... and waited... and waited.

Shortly before 8:30, I had a choice to make. At what point do you say "enough"? I thought about this... and paced. I knew I was angry. I was pissed! I hadn't had dinner yet. I had things to do at home.

So, for just a moment, I observed that part that was angry and accepted what I was feeling. But would I stop waiting because I was angry? I realized that wasn't all of it.

Simply put, some things are not meant to be. So, we're going to try to set up another time for Gary to pick it up and, if he can't: Goodwill. A donation is a donation is a donation, after all.
We picked up some dinner on the way home... I fell asleep on the way home. I fell asleep because my anger was tied in with my exhaustion and both of them were starting to snap at Vicky. It was easy to let go of the directionless anger once I let go of some of the exhaustion. Hey, sometimes it is as easy as that.

But then we got home and Vicky was a beehive of activity while I, having hurt my back the day before, couldn't do too much. I felt useless. I felt miserable. Again, it took me several minutes (not just once, but a few times during the evening) to realize that I wasn't useless. I'd done a lot of work and would do more. I only felt that way because I wasn't doing anything and I thought that I needed to constantly prove my worth to her. I didn't need to, though - and I needed to accept that. And I didn't need to be miserable. I could let that go.

Vicky got her stereo set up and we listened to a little of "Love Out of Time". Listening to it, I was taken back to when I made it, when I was working so hard at leaving Rosa behind. It took me four years to do that - and it wasn't, by any means, a straight road. Roads rarely are. I laughed a little and thought, again, about how I have a problem with detachment.

The only epilogue I can put on this story is that I woke up this morning, still exhausted and sore from the move. In fact, I just couldn't get out of bed. So, I took a minute and thought about all I'd done and how hard I worked. I had every reason to feel what I felt. It was okay to feel what I felt. I let myself feel it for a minute... then I got up.

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