Wandering mind

I was going to dive into a pile of books and let my mind wander into the world of sci-fi and fantasy and myth but then, unannounced, came the world of grump, parking its behind all around and inside me not saying anything, just sitting there, big and silent and taking up way too much space.

It’s making me grumpy to say the least, adding to other things that make me grumpy, starting with people who lack spatial skills when walking, shopping or driving and think that they are the centre of the universe, or are alone in the world, so naturally the world exists only for them meaning that EVERYONE will drive around them when they stop their freaking car in the middle of Queen Street, one of the busiest streets in Toronto, or when they hog the sidewalk with big honking baby strollers so that everyone else has to step OFF the sidewalk to let them by or, when they talk in a loud voice on the phone at the store.

Talking on the phone in public

It is SO annoying when this happens and adds unnecessary emotional and noise pollution. Maybe the brain tumour rumour is true after all: low-level radiation from cell phones just makes people lose their minds and as you know, without minds it is impossible to have manners and be considerate of other people.

There is no cone of silence that comes down around people who talk on the phone in the middle of a store, on the street, on the streetcar, in the restaurant and really, the conversations are rarely worth eavesdropping in on. And yet. It persists. As in the other day at a shop where a few of us were looking at sunglasses. One woman came up and yak yak yakking on her phone in a loud voice, reaching over people, picking up glasses, looking at them, putting them on, elbowing for the mirror and putting them down again. Talking into her phone non-stop. Not a young woman either. We could NOT escape her. Normally I just walk away, but this set me on edge … total disregard, inattention, inconsiderate: I might have sighed loudly and abruptly a few times. What happened to MY manners? I might have battled my inner guru who suggested I get curious as to why I was so bothered. Inner guru lost.

I asked woman on the phone — with all the (act as if) lovingkindness I could muster in my voice, all the (act as if) warmth I could generate from my heart and with the (act as if) genuine-looking, sorry-to-ask-this-of-you smile — if she could please lower her voice, placing my hand super lightly on her shoulder with a thank you when she ended her phone call.

I’m thinking I have a problem with that thing known by its scientific name: stupidity.

Examples of stupidity seems to be crawling out of the woodwork these days: Harper has a majority, Trump is getting airplay, people spend money to see Charlie Sheen, twits send tweets that are increasingly reminiscent of wacky limericks, but not as smart or as amusing and Facebook is being turned into everything including a public confessional and there really is a thing called lingerie football and someone related to the Mayor is doing it?? Is there a sanity-sucking machine operating at the Earth’s core?

More to the point, where did my quiet, nice, That Thou Art, Namaste, compassionate, we’re-all-in-this-together self disappear to? Maybe the dog park.

Maybe it’s me

When the world gets to me like this, there’s only one reason and it’s inside me. Maybe it’s easier to be annoyed at the rush and noise of the world and the increasing lack of personal space — things I cannot control — than it is to feel what I’m feeling, a thing I do have control over, once I determine what it is. Always a signal to step back. Meditate. Breathe. Just breathe. To still my wandering, monkey mind. And of course the it bubbles up as soon as there is space for it. That’s the thing about stillness and space.

I am grumpy because this is the in-between time: April is the anniversary of my father’s death and May is the anniversary of my mother’s death and the time from one to the other is that in-between time suspension, pondering life and death and loss each time. Feeling me as an orphan, yet not exactly that. Somehow, I hadn’t counted on ever including ‘orphan’ on my life resume, as part of the definition of me, my individuality. Not that it matters greatly, but it’s a strange feeling.

Still, nothing is permanent: if we come to this earth we will at some point leave it. We love until we don’t, or can’t — even if it is love for a thousand years. Knowing that, feeling that, does not make loss any easier, no matter how deep the knowledge, deep the acceptance. In the words of an English pet psychic that my mother watched on TV — “we don’t get over losing them, we just get used to them not being there.”

In this in-between time, it seems everything in the world is embodied in me: I might want quiet which means I will be more acutely attuned to the noise. I might be more sensitive than is usually the case, so I notice insensitivity, ignorance, lack of consideration more.

I felt helpless as my parents’ stupid illnesses took them away so I’m playing a sort of Policewoman Against all forms of Public Stupidity during this in-between time. Which is stupid in its own way and happily, won’t last long. But now I can manage these feelings and not be grumpy. And I will forget April and May once my birthday has passed and there isn’t a Happy Birthday from them. I will forget until it starts again the beginning of April next year. Plenty of time to ungrump.

Thank goodness. I have a pile of books to read.

NB:  sorry for the double post. Computer burped.


About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween.
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