Enlightenment and Shit

Coming down from the mountaintop of enlightenment…I slipped in some shit.

It’s one thing to be in a space of equanimity and loving kindness for all humanity when you’re sitting in meditative solitude. It’s quite another to be full of peace and goodwill when you’re tired and late and just trying to get a few things from the grocery store and they’ve been doing renos and you can’t frickin’ find anything and you finally take your carefully chosen eleven items to the express checkout only to get yelled at by the guy behind you because as you are just now realizing this is now the FIVE item express checkout and you suddenly discover suck my rocks is now in your interpersonal repertoire which is funny ‘cause you’re a girl and you don’t have any rocks and you wonder if that phrase has any weight when your girl bits don’t actually have any… well… weight.

Um..yeah…but, I digress.

After my grand epiphany earlier this year, I’ve been clear and focused and connected, moving in a really awesome headspace as I got out there and got stuff done. Problem is, getting out there means interacting with people not usually in my sphere. You pick your friends, love your family, everybody else you just have to work with. I’ve been a bit sheltered, not having a regular day job, so most people I encounter in my life are of my own choosing, and I guess I’ve been filtering for people I get, and people I like. As my interpersonal world expands I’m starting to discover some people are assholes; and an even greater number of the people out there are utter nutbars.

My new life has me working with someone who is so far up the crazy tree I couldn’t even get her down with a good sized rock. I mean there’s monkeymind and then there’s: pardon me, but I think your monkey has been dropping acid. This has left me rather confounded as I’m used to a group of people who, while we are all prone to a bit of loony limb-swinging, can get ourselves back down to earth with a little support from a currently not-crazy friend. So my first efforts with this woman were to try and talk her down from the crazy tree, which being as she’s so far up as to be unreachable pretty much meant I was climbing up with her and shouting stuff from slightly lower branches. Not particularly effective.

I have a friend with a rather difficult boss. Her peers often discuss and compare their strategies for managing the issue, such as dazzle: throwing data and stats at him until he’s utterly distracted. Her colleagues tease her, tell her her management strategy is poke the bear, which of course is a very bad strategy. I could never understand why my friend would poke the bear. She’s smart, she’s savvy, she knows poking a bear is never a good idea. NOW I understand. You can’t help but poke the bear: confronted with bear, you try and address the bear, engage with the bear, to deal with the bear issue – failing to realize any attention you pay to the bear just perturbs the bear. DO NOT POKE THE BEAR!

I’ve been trying to talk this chick down from the crazy tree, failing to realize she’s so comfortably ensconced she’s been knitting little mittens to put on all the leaves. Every attempt I make to try and address the fact she’s in the crazy tree, and maybe she’d like to come down from the crazy tree, just gives her more things to be crazy about. I finally figured out it was on me to recalibrate my noise to signal filter, quit worrying about whether she’s talking crazy, and instead look for action items in all that chatter. Which mostly there isn’t. It’s now more like watching the crazy cat lady rant and hurl felines: unless she hucks a cat right at you all you need do is step aside and let her go.

I find that really hard to do because: a) it makes me sad to see someone suffer from their own self induced knicker-twisting, when they could learn to let it go and live a much easier life, and b) she is annoying the shit out of me. For the first time in a long time I’m finding myself with the very earnest desire to punch somebody in the head, and that is reminding me that maybe I might have a bit of stuff to work on yet myself.

For all that I’ve learned, I haven’t yet learned how to stay out of the shit.


If you like reading about philosophy and shit, you might like: Don’t Shit Where You Eat. ‘Cause, I’m nice ‘n shit… but I’m also a badass.

6 thoughts on “Enlightenment and Shit

  1. Dear Val

    I LOVED this. Hilarious But at the same time very Insightful. Hope You’re enjoying your Holiday. Catch you later Ciao Bambino. Moi


  2. Loved your writing. I always do. It unveils a mirror.

    Shit happens…as the saying goes. Sometimes we have to just sit in the shit to appreciate the not so shitty times and people. Sometimes the shit is a gift, not a pleasant one, but a gift nonetheless. And without the shit, or the crazies out there, life just wouldn’t be as interesting. We just have to remember not to mess around in anyone else’s shit. it’s difficult at the time but if we can remember to celebrate and laugh at ourselves when we are covered in shit, it helps.


  3. “I’m starting to discover some people are assholes; and an even great number of the people out there are utter nutbars.”

    Ay, there be wisdom in those words, Valerie!


  4. Oh… I think you just single-handedly saved my crummy week. And it was crummy, I tell you what. With the crumminess, and the source of said crumminess, and the extenuating crumminess that has made things even more, well, crummy, I’m searching for my own sense of balance. And I love that you have some. And that it includes the acknowledgement that not everything needs to be viewed through the lens of ‘life is but a fleeting beat of the butterfly’s wing’. Plus, funny as hell with some amazing lines that scream out for a poem!

    on any given day
    I see her aloft
    tucked between the branches of the crazy tree
    carefully careless in a way that
    draws both attention and
    comfortably ensconced in a web of
    mystifying nothingness
    humming pleasantly as she
    whiles away the hours
    knitting mittens for all the leaves


    1. Thanks Shannoetry! My biggest struggle these days is learning to be at peace with people who aren’t at peace and not getting caught up in that. It’s a bitch though, to be sure.

      …and your poem, so beautifully absurd and loving in it’s own weird way. I’ll think of it every time I want to huck rocks at that crazy tree lady. To see the beauty in the utterly annoying is a true gift, you are amazing!


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