The Ill Wind of Human Dysfunction

ImageWe learn to embrace the wind at the tenderest of ages, where a single piece of 8 ½ by 11 white paper magically folded seven times, once cast with the flick of a wrist, will imprint our brains with the rudimentary theories of aerodynamics and physics, give us metaphorical wings to fly, and make us ponder ‘what’s up there, and who’s out there’.  And, when our paper airplane comes back down to Earth from cutting a graceful arc through the cerulean, have us come to recognise the impermanence of all experiences and the rationale behind neurons feeding our brains electro-chemical impulses which force us (in the best and worst possible way) to capture memory.  It should, also, impart resilience.

Those trees which survive the gale force of thunderstorm, tornado, tropical depression or hurricane are not sturdy oaks or mighty chestnuts but saplings, bamboo and willow, their inherent nature is of flexibility to bend with the wind instead of standing rigidly against it.  For thousands of years the martial arts have taught this – flowing through the obstacle instead of ‘fighting it’; harnessing Chi (or Qi) much the way the folds of the paper airplane allow it to ride the air currents.  Physicists and various scientific disciplines are peeling away the layers of the ‘weight’ of positive versus negative thought with more refined versions of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs). If you have yet to hear/read, negative thoughts have considerably MORE weight from the perspective of physics and thus, the reason a growing number of us, why the state of our planet ‘feels’ like the dissonance which can be found in a piece of Shostakovich.

I recently experienced for the second time in my life (and a decade passing between) an atom bomb of human emotion directed at me complete with threats of physical violence, repeated use expletives and shouting (and yes, shrapnel spitting landing on my face) over my verbally ‘protecting’ an earthworm from incineration by this man’s son on the hot BBQ a group of us had just finished using. (All of which turns out to be multiple misdemeanor offenses of harassment.) My initial reaction was to block the energy and stand rigid, but that stance and the shift in my accompanying energy building within me felt inauthentic to my nature.  I then tried to walk away, and I was physically blocked.  I lowered my voice to a whisper (which was right for me but still failed to stem the anger being directed at me) and took deep breaths – none of it worked. The witnesses to the three episodes involved ‘didn’t want to be in the middle of it’. This is precisely how abuse and terrors of all kinds take place right next door, in front of us, and on the other side of the world. Ultimately I chose not to file a police report, I take my chances on future episodes but my life lesson now includes CALL THE POLICE!  On the way to that decision, I consumed several dry gin martinis – somehow it’s okay to want a drink but not need a drink; I am not proud of embracing this crutch.  What proved more successful was ‘re-tuning’ my being to the Gregorian chant of Hildegard von Bingen; within can be found both resonance and dissonance – necessary to create harmony – the Ying and Yang, darkness and light, of music.

I ache over the loss of five years of friendship, am thoroughly confused over ‘my child can do no wrong’ mindset, of people who praise God with one breath and dishonor their respective Prophet with the next, and whose anger management skills are non-existent.  As our connected energy (“one being with the Father” as well as atomic-ly speaking) bears down on us I am acutely aware that only mindfulness will foster a shift, and that resilience is built into our ever dynamic a path.  I will return to my version of normal sooner as a result.

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