Friday, October 12, 2007

Me First, you later... maybe.

The world is a stressed out place filled with shrill and angry people yelling at each other about things that aren’t even the problems causing ‘their’ stress in the first place.

Today a man delivered a specialized mowing machine to my door which I am taking to Italy to mow the grounds. There’s 2.5 acres of ground and last year I did it with a weed wacker and the time and effort involved was considerable and I had to do it a number of times.

This man was under whatever pressure deliverymen imagine themselves to be under. The package that held the blade was broken open on the side and as I carried it in small metal pieces fell from the package and vanished. While I helped the man carry the heavy body of this machine into the house his impatience endangered me. He was reckless and driven the way I imagine most of the evil in the world comes about. I used what I know about adapting quickly to a threat created by another person and I got through it; but I wasn’t pleased.

Susanne called the seller on the phone and he said that there weren’t any small parts that could get lost from the blade. Okay... but then she picked up the box and more stuff fell out. So it comes to the reality that a bag of screws in the box must have broken open. Meanwhile the moving guy is dancing around like a hornet on meth. Because there is a lot of confusion we decide to send it back. I was saying that we should just have him send another bag of screws but no one was paying much attention to me with the phone going and the moving man about to have an aneurism.

So we are sending it back. Now the moving guy is freaking and I go to help him and he jerks this heavy box forward, pulling me along with 80 kilos of dead weight and extending my arm so that all sorts of unpleasant pressures are placed in a dangerous way. I let go to save myself and then I let him have it. It wasn’t a situation where I could have done much else to get his attention. Now he realized that his impatience was putting him in danger. Although I didn’t actually do anything it looked like I might. That is the impression I wanted to give. Sometimes being pleasant isn’t the answer. I went inside and he did whatever he had to do to get the thing back on the truck.

The mover goes and Susanne calls the seller again. Of course the seller says he would have sent another bag of screws (which he didn’t say when he should have) and that he can’t send the machine again because paying the extra shipping will ruin his profit margin; we were getting the thing at a very good price. We have no problem paying to have it reshipped but now he can’t locate (he says) the specific shipping company because of yadda yadda... and we are under time constraints that make the whole arrangement questionable.

This isn’t about whether I get my necessary tool that will make my life much easier. That will sort itself out. It’s about the event itself. It’s about the harm that many another person might have experienced who was not as quick about the situation as I fortunately was. I cared less about the machine and more about being pushed around than some others might have. And stress was to be had all around because stress is in the air and it gets shared out. Stress is something the human race shares with one another because somewhere along the line the pressure for money and time became more important than our well being.

I see this stress every day. I try to live my life in such a way that I can avoid it and mostly I do. I see it on the highway when people press and press on their journey nowhere. I let them go by. I stay out of their way. I see it waiting in line for one thing or another. I see it in the eyes of people everywhere as this impatience without legitimate purpose propels them recklessly forward. I see it in the sexual urgency and every other urgency that destroys their opportunity to enjoy their lives.

I see people angry about things that have nothing to do with why they are angry. I see people on crusades about things they are never going to change and I see them making themselves and others miserable ranting on about the social order and all their imagined oppressions; how unfair life is to them. I see them seething about imagined injuries and fabricating injuries to justify a shrieking insistence that they be heard concerning facts and figures that add up to nothing but a perspective they assumed in order to demand that someone listen to them when their whole point is to get others to validate them as something they are not.

There are legitimate conditions in life that should be addressed and there are people doing what they can to the extent that they know what they are doing. Every one of them encounters this stress and they handle it to the extent that they know how. As the stress mounts- and it will continue to mount- due to the press of people pressed against each other in competition for space and gain and time and the pursuit of whatever the internal fires demand, we find that the manner in which their duties and pursuits are carried out are becoming less friendly.

At the same time, the paperwork that accompanies the jobs that must be done becomes increasingly complex and those who handle the paper have another sense of time than the people moving the things that the paper is about. There are also different understandings of time depending on the industry; government, commerce and sundry. Paying out and paying in also have their different perspectives on how important the process is. It’s apparent that it is much more important to get paid than it is to pay; except that each one is alternatively on the other side of the same thing which makes more stress.

To me, quality of life is more important than the pressure of appetite and appetite itself is going to become as important as you allow it to be. It has the propensity to become so important that nothing else factors in. Quality of life is more important than gain or fame, more important than any of the temporary trinkets the body and emotions and mind wish to demand because somehow the idea of need got implanted and then amplified to the point where common sense and survival became secondary concerns.

So, because of this urge... this need... this pressure and impatience... life becomes unfriendly. Corners get cut. Risk gives an edge. Manners are time-consuming. People in government and law enforcement; shopkeepers and sundry have seen every different scam and seven hundred colors of assholes and have decided they might as well become one too. They don’t care if they see you again. Next.

There’s a self indulging need and hysteria afoot and they insist that you listen to them. Here’s an injustice, there’s an injustice and all of these injustices are somebody’s darling little offspring and you’d better pay attention. The thing is that there are millions of these things screaming in a god-awful cacophony so that no one hears or feels anything but the pressure of their own demands rising up into the chorus.

People have lost their way. They are angry, frustrated and often alone- no matter how many people surround them. They could recognize that the whole process is a scam to milk them of their fear, anger, frustration and loneliness because there are living things that you cannot see which feed off of them. There are creatures on the battlefield that feed on the suffering and blood. There are creatures in the bedroom, the bathroom, on the highway and everywhere you go that sustain themselves on the energies expended in those locations. Depending on where you are coming from determines what level of energy is feeding off of you.

After awhile the things you are feeding get large. They get large because you feed them and they will die if you don’t. Maybe they should die. But there is an urgency in their insistence. You fed them before. You HAVE TO feed them NOW. But you don’t. You don’t have to feed them again. You don’t have to bang the drum either. You don’t HAVE TO do anything but breathe and that might be the key to the whole thing. You don’t have to get carried away. You don’t have to... have to... uh... What am I doing? What the hell am I doing?

As far as I’m concerned you can have it all. Go ahead, take it. It’s yours. I’ll look elsewhere. It’s not going to slow down unless you do. It’s not going to stop coming around unless you stop feeding it. None of it is real and it is quite capable of working itself out if you stop interfering with it. Well, you can’t tell people anything and that works itself out too... eventually.

Visible sings: The Sacred and The Profane by Les Visible♫ You Wanna Dance ♫
'You Wanna Dance' is track no. 10 of 13 on Visible's 2007 album 'The Sacred and The Profane'
Lyrics (pops up)

The Sacred and The Profane by Les Visible


Anonymous said...

There are paragraphs of brilliance in here. How our idea of "quality of life" got so perverted is beyond me. I've had someone tell me, "how sad it would be to not have any wants." And I'm sad it is to be perpertually in a state of want! Especially when quite a few of us have everything we could ever need and more. It seems common for people to define themselves by their wants; that's their identity and don't you dare try and take that away from them.

On another mowed 2.5 acres with weed whacker? Whoa!


Anonymous said...

May I suggest you adopt a pair of Italian sheep?

Visible said...

That's not a bad idea Nina but the sheep would eat a lot of things I don't want them to eat and I'm not a farmer mentality/disposition kind of a guy; then, getting the dogs and the sheep to integrate etc

This mower will do the job rapidly and without problem. It's on it's way back. As I said, that part of it would work out and it did.

thanks for thinking about me though heh heh.

Visible said...

See Ben... you're the first person to note that feature about the size of the land and the tool employed. I posted this at Slate and ran into having to explain I wasn't even in Italy yet and other amusing mis-takes. And so it goes.

Anonymous said...

hello visible, pressing coal into diamonds again, i see. you play the six strings of my heart like you do that guitar.i'm not sure of the relevance here but after reading this a favorite poem of mine[actually rumi's poem, not mine]came wafting through my mind and i'd like to share it with you and others. 'you're a song, a wished for song. go through the ear to the center, where sky is, where wind, where silent knowing. put seeds and cover them. blades will sprout where you do your work.' without want [desire]or need [fear]all thats left is longing... a wish. it's this longing, this wish that we all share that brings us back again and again. sorry to hear of your ordeal. always in my thoughts, love mark.

Anonymous said...

This is exquisite!

Time is NOT money. Time is life. Could that be any clearer, plainer, simpler, obvious? Alas...

Haste makes waste. So much waste, of life, of so many lives...

Quant a Monsieur Ibrahim (lui meme dans le film): "Le secret du bonheur c'est la lenteur." Il a tellement raison.

Your brilliance shines through once again. And I also appreciate the fact that you mention, in the latter paragraphs, the invisible thingies that feed upon our (emotional) energies. Tis so true.

Merci beaucoup Monsieur. My hat's off to you :)


p.s. Just read the comments, and you said this: "This mower will do the job rapidly..." Ironic? heh heh

Anonymous said...

There was a terrible wildfire on Catalina Island, off the coast of LA recently. Afterwards, it was discovered that overdevelopment removed the wild goats indigenous to the land and the brush grew out of control. Goats and sheep are nature's natural brush cutters creating defensible space wherever they roam. They are mellow creatures and don't come with a lot of heavy ego baggage. I have come to hate our mowers because they are just more noisy machines sucking gas and you can get your foot amputated if you don't concentrate.

Visible said...

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