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Friday, June 5, 2015

"Airborne"

I have a 5 mile commute to work every day.  It's a straight line on a back road, but yesterday I got caught in a traffic jam because some people just don't understand a 4-way stop.  I idly looked out at the big field of the county airport and fussed and fumed about being stuck.  A huge hawk flew past with a tiny black bird pecking its grievances out on the hawk's tail.  I figure that didn't bode well for me or the hawk.

Today I saw that same hawk flying unencumbered by a pesky lesser being with a sharp beak.  That seemed like a better sign.  I wonder why the hawk didn't just turn around and eat the little bird, but I guess it figured it was just better to leave.  Sometimes I feel like that too.  Mostly I wonder why little birds want to pester me in the first place.

This is actually something I've thought about a lot of times because I swear I've been pestered to death by little birds while I tell them to just leave me alone.  In case you're getting lost in the metaphor, I have been pestered to death by small people throughout my life.  They manipulate, nag, belittle, charm... whatever methods work best for them for whatever motivates them.  Sometimes I let my talons out and then nobody's happy.

I almost always regret losing my temper, and can self-punish about it for years afterward because I can be altogether too thorough in demolishing the source of my anger.  It's hard to stay airborne when you're eviscerating a little bird and wrapping its entrails around its head while pecking its eyes out.  See the pitiful little songbird flopping on the ground getting eaten by a bunny?  Yes, I know bunnies are herbivores.  Just makes it more sad.

I want to stay airborne.  I want to feel like I'm living my best life and in my perfect world I'd never have to get angry about anything.  I know real life includes some justifiable anger from time to time, and failing nirvana, I want to be able to express that anger without having to figure out where to hide the corpses.  It seems simple enough until a little bird pecks me one time too many.

This probably makes it sound like I'm the kind of person who lays on the horn while tailgating on the freeway and brings a machine gun to the movies.  I'm really not.  I give lots of signs that the end is near if you don't cut it out.  I think people don't believe me because I try to be nice most of the time.  I actually very seldom lose my temper -- but when I do, it's memorable.

How to express anger constructively is something a lot of people, including myself, find difficult because we haven't seen enough positive examples.  We're inundated with bad examples in every media and by the bullies on the playground or in business.  It just doesn't make for a good book or movie plot to calmly talk out differences.  The nice guy doesn't get elected or promoted.

I figure I'm a lifetime project, and this is one of my ongoing topics for improvement.  All I can really do is set my intention that this hawk is going to stay airborne as much as possible.

And just to show that I care about other people's happiness, am somewhat aware of the world, and can get over my deeply held belief that sports shouldn't overlap and basketball is supposed to be over in winter...
GO CAVS!!!

20 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous feather collar Linda your really could soar above the traffic jam if you wore that! My hb always says that will all try to bring up our children to be selfless, kind and charitable and then send them out into the world as an adult where it can be a dog eat dog! True but it's finding a balance. Everyone has the right to lose their temper if over provoked...the results can be spectacular especially if you are usually the mellow one......ask my Hb ;0) Enjoy your weekend xx

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    1. I think the more people who raise their children to be good humans, the happier everyone else can be. Thanks for doing your part Jane! I hope you have a great weekend too.

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  2. one of your best blogs ever!

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  3. I hate traffic jams. They're why I ride a bicycle (almost) everywhere.
    Love your illustration! And the motivation to rise above "it all" :)

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    1. Thanks! Sometimes I think a bike would be a good idea to get to work, but I think I'll stick with my electric car :)

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  4. Susan wrote: "Dealing with anger is one of my lifetime projects too, Linda. Only recently, I came across a question in one of Dan Millman's books, "Are you using anger to get something you *could* get in some other way?" Hmmm. Anger as most frequently a nasty, lazy habit...I could see that. It takes so much more courage to slow down and be honest and vulnerable. Clearly more work to be done over here! Lovely color palette on your image. :-)"

    Susan couldn't get her comment to post so I copy/pasted for her with my thanks for passing on such wisdom. More work to be done on my end too!

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  5. I don't think it hurts to lose your temper occasionally. Its an honest emotion. I think to inwardly seethe is far more damaging. Try not to eviscerate too many small birds though!!! :)

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  6. I think you're right Amanda, seething is more damaging. On the bright side, I saw a hawk chasing a little bird yesterday :)

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  7. Heh. Back off pesky fluttery thing! Lovely image, flow of colours, invitation for the mind to soar. Begins an inner conversation which will take many cups of coffee to explore. Great post!

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  8. Thanks! For me it's tea instead of coffee, but yeah!

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  9. Ugh. The confident little birds that think they're so smart just because they like the way their voice sounds. I've met a few of those.

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    1. Seems like life could be simpler if we just put all the little birdies in cages so they can't harm themselves or others.

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  10. omgosh, you're sooo good at describing life, I just love your posts :) :) :) three smilies bc I'm leaving your blog smiling, like always! :D

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    1. Yay for smiling! We should all do a lot more of that!

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  11. Little birds seem to pester everyone at some time or another. Sigh. I would have snapped them up instantly or crushed them in my talons in my younger years, but I am noticing more and more how I've mellowed with age. I'm not sure if it is because I care less, or choose my battles more......
    5 mile commute! I am jealous! Mine is currently 17 miles, but we closed on our new home yesterday, and soon it will be 52! Ugh!!! Hoping to negotiate a "work from home day" once a week! But the house is worth it, either way.

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    1. I hope you love your new home and can get to work at home. Even with my 5 mile commute I still work at home sometimes -- and I get a lot more done when I do because there aren't so many distractions. I've mellowed some too, but I still fight the good fights from time to time.

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  12. Boy, are we different.
    Very good illustration, though.

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    1. I always assumed we were pretty different, but that doesn't stop us from amusing each other :)

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  13. Oh my gosh, I love the feathers! We're all a lifetime project. I wish more people thought of it that way. It sounds like you do better than most with angry feelings. I tend to remain calm as well until (rarely) pushed the wrong way too many times.

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