Anger Management

Last night my friends and I went to a very low-key restaurant in Stinson Beach to have an early supper. We were hoping to eat at outdoor tables but they were all filled so we went inside and eventually chose a table right next to a window we could open up. We opened both windows next to us because we are older and we are concerned about the virus and most people in the restaurant sat next to open windows. I was a bit concerned because the couple next to us had a very young child there with them who couldn’t possibly have been vaccinated.I guess some people are willing to take risks.

The most interesting thing to me that happened during the evening was a large group of men probably in their 30s arrived wearing biker clothes and sat quite close to us. They were not masked entering the restaurant and they seem to have no hesitancy in walking close to everyone else’s tables. They sat down and started ordering drinks and became louder and louder.

I never object to people having a good time because I think life is short and particularly now people need to get out and have fun. What I do object to is when that fun interferes with my fun.

At one point a man from the table got up and walked over to us standing too closely without a mask and asked if it was all right with us if he closed our window. We explained that we were keeping it open because we were worried about the virus. That should’ve been enough of an explanation to him.

He went back to the table and I could hear him explaining to his friends that we were worried about the virus and one of the young men yelled out to us two of us just tested positive today. And they all laughed.

What was rather hard to believe to my friends and me was that this group of young men were so disrespectful to us.

We were simply sitting there enjoying our dinner not interfering with them in anyway. They, on the other hand, interfered with our safety and attempted to force us to close the window and then made fun of us and frightened us with their statements.

They also frightened the family with the one child.

The group got louder and louder which made it almost impossible for the rest of the people that were nearby to have any kind of conversation and finally left.

My friends and I were talking about why there are quite a few people in this generation of 30 somethings that are disrespectful and unmannered? Did their parents allow them to be the boss in the household? Were they never taught respect for older people? Were they never taught respect for anyone?

 

This virus creates an interesting dynamic among our generations. I would say that throughout these past two years I have seen people my own age be very cautious and careful and respectful of others but the younger generation seems to feel that they’re invincible and they are not careful about themselves nor about others.

The tragedy to me is that many of them are now getting very sick and have been hospitalized. I think that many are vaccinated but their behavior puts others at risk. I’m wondering if this is something new or this disrespect has been present in other generations as well.

I’m certain that I behaved recklessly from time to time in my 20s but once I had children that behavior stopped so maybe it’s having children that teaches you respect and responsibility.

There was something else present in this group of young men. It was a kind of rage. There was a super feeling of anger towards us because we were daring to make them uncomfortable. Even though all the other people in the restaurant preferred having the windows open they wanted them closed.

 

It’s a known fact that anger and rage are based on fear so that takes me to the place of why are they fearful? I guess the answer to that is obvious. Our generation has failed to protect them from having to live on a planet where we have viruses, climate change, pollution, and dramatic  weather incidents, and whether or not they think about this in a logical progression it must occur to them this world isn’t safe.

They are correct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Car Wash 1

Just as I was trying to keep my front tires in alignment on the slightly rickety, vibrating tracks of the car wash I felt my passenger door open and a splash of warm water on my arm and saw a curious pair of smokey eyes in the face of a man of unknown age but of great beauty. I reached over to touch his cheek and wipe some of the water away and he pulled my hand to his ear. “Touch my ear!” (but not in English) he said and electrically we slid through the rinsing and sudsing and and finally the great blowing which opened his door and though he grasped my finger, the baby one, he was sucked out of the car and into the blower and then I was outside and raring to go.

Dinner

Light the candles, dim the lights, serve the good wine, make people laugh, tell them to go home after 2 1/2 hours, go to bed, drink water, pet your dogs, Dream of passion.

Hopeful

Yesterday a man held my hand so

powerfully I couldn’t tell after a while

as it seemed so right

that consistent pressure.

Normally I don’t like comfort in any form as

it embarrasses me like the chameleon

turning pink

on lava or carnation, I pull away from

touch as I know the consequences.

But this time I stayed and cried.

It had been so long since I

felt comfort.

Loss

Loss

In the gray half open eye period prior to

full alert status I feel a touch or maybe an

outstretched limb, a phantom connection

I may remember. Warm and wanting..

Delaying the awakening I dwell there

In hopeful desire among my fresh sheets,

memories of sun fragrant and salt drying,

my fingers on your chest, lightly, sensing

your heart which in these dreams is

still faithful to us, your family.

The Length of Winter

I forgot how long winter is.

It doesn’t extend from November to March

as it should but it’s disobedient and sometimes hides inside a heart and a chamber to the left or to the right and there you are with only a part of your heart functioning because of winter or it’s a fact. You think it will get better but in fact you’re wrong because once something is frozen it’s never the same. Even a hamburger isn’t as flavorful once defrosted. I used to think that people could learn over time that frostbite prevented circulation and thus freedom however experience has taught me that if you let something freeze it can never really be brought back to life appropriately again.

Our Front Hall

Our Front Hall

Our front hall had a very tall grandfather clock at the foot of the stairs keeping watch over the household. No one could wind it but my father and the clock defined the nights in regular chimes reaching everyone’s ears in everyone’s bedroom.There was a front hall table made of lustrous mahogany where mail and packages were placed daily.The legs of the table looked like a young girl with four legs curtseying all at once. I know because I spent a lot of time under there waiting for God knows what. My favorite part however In this wonderful area of our house was the front hall closet which no one could put anything in except for my father. It was his personal closet for his overcoat and his hats and his umbrellas and his galoshes. I don’t remember hearing we weren’t supposed to go in the closet so I went in the closet quite a bit. There was a shelf the hats were on that had a thumbtacked piece of decorative ribbon that was ruched: something I had never seen before. I took some delight in pulling a piece of it off and seeing what it felt like. My father had four or five coats in there and most of the coats were some range of the color gray. There were cashmere coats, and wool coats, and cotton coats, and canvas coats. The coats had a big life and seemed to go out a lot. Sometimes alone, and sometimes in pairs the coats went out in the world: across oceans and in airplanes, office buildings, and houses not ours, down inside boats, outside on sidewalks. They always came back home slightly different than when they had left. I knew this because when I went in the closet I would stand up inside each coat starting with my head going into the bottom because they were buttoned up, you see, and I would shimmy myself up to usually just the lowest button because my father was very tall and I was still short. I would stand there and breathe in the outside world imagining where he had been and who he had seen and the smell of old Spice would anesthetize me against the real world. In the closet I created whatever I wanted sometimes for hours. No one ever looked for me. I stood so still inside a coat I became a part of its life.

The Hard, Cold Snow

The Coming of the Snow

The hard, cold snow is here,

The kind that makes you wince.

The great, crackling steps one takes that sink unexpectedly,

Mother earth reminding you she’s but a heavy footfall away.

So a morning walk becomes impossible and the dog, depressed.

Your husband reminds you how he loves the winter but

You remember how warm sun feels and how each morning contains freedom.

There are those who live outside and those who live inside.

The watchers and the livers

Each needs the other to remind them what they miss

Not better or worse

Just different.

Letting Go When There Is No Rope Left

Letting Go When There’s No Rope Left

I have a friend who is trying to get divorced. This has been going on for two years. The marriage was a good length, (ten years), and a good part of it was not unhappy but the divorce has turned into a nightmare of hatred, accusations, bitterness, anger, paranoia and deep despair on the part of both parties.

There were no children involved, several properties purchased together, and a long stream of expenses for their life paid for by my friend who gave his partner free rein to do what she wanted in terms of the household accounts. By the time he realized most of his money was gone it was too late for reason or recompense: his life had become unbearable as daily verbal abuse had escalated to the point of physical pain. There was no surviving the atmosphere in the house, no love left between the two marital participants, and so my friend left.

His partner filed for divorce immediately and thus began the long history of demands for money, property, shares in imagined earnings, financial reports, tax returns, and appearances in court, depositions and more depositions. Interestingly enough, at this point in time my friend’s net worth had diminished to one tenth that of his wife’s yet she continued to threaten, hire new lawyers, fire old accountants, make new lists about what she wanted, hide possessions from my friend, and make her life’s goal destroying her husband.

Now I ask myself “Why?” If I were in the same position would I behave in the same way? Of course not. I am a reasonable person who likes to work things out and find reasonable solutions to problems. I like to have situations that are emotionally complicated solved as smoothly and expediently as possible as drawing them out only serves to upset one’s health and make oneself look like a fool in the community. People that continually fight over nothing and act in irrational ways are usually ostracized by others and find them alone and unloved in their lives. Who would actively make a choice to live like this?

Why am I writing about this today? I think it’s a really good lesson to all of us about how to destroy your life and your Karma. Holding anger, retribution and bitterness inside yourself is a good mechanism to destroy your own life. I think it does more damage than smoking. Imagine inhaling all that rage each day with every breath and then imagine not being able to release it. Imagine getting into arguments with everyone that surrounds you and then not having any real friends left. Imagine acting in a way that is dangerous to you and to others. Then take a breath and wonder why.

I think people get so caught up in their battles they forget why they began them in the first place. Much like all the needless wars we have been involved with we often can’t remember why we started to hate each other. We forget our compassion towards others and towards ourselves. We exist on our own fear and we can’t even see how it is destroying our lives. We lose all reason and all awareness of our own behavior and become fearful individuals who are living solitary lives as it becomes too risky to trust anyone else.

How many stories out there are like that of my friend? How many people hold on to old stuff as its familiar: pain is familiar. It may not be pleasant but sometimes fear makes us choose the familiar rather than the new as the new cannot be predicted.

I am no angel. Believe me I know that and I am aware of my own failings just as others are. I am writing this to make sense of the situation to me as well as to you as it seems so insane. The only thing I do know to be absolutely true is that operating from a fear based self will ultimately ruin your life and leave you with no friends or family to support you. In the end as they say we die alone but I hope when I die there are people who love me all around who can send me on my way to a new plane with love and joy. After all, there is really nothing else worthwhile in life but love.