March 10, 2017 (Friday)

by Yule Heibel on March 9, 2018

When I opened my eyes after meditation, the snow had started. It’s not much right now – no thick flakes, nothing that looks like it will add up to much of anything: just a general pixelation of fore- and mid-ground objects. It’s the really distant objects on the horizon, and the sky itself, especially out toward the sea, that look like their atmosphere might be thick with solid – more solid – particles. Where I sit, it all looks rather thin, and like it could turn into rain. Thin and sparse, so sparse the cars below me drive (rumble) past without windshield wipers wiping.

Those cars… Today, in meditation, I realized I’m resisting the racket from all the damn commuter traffic down there. It’s loud. It could be quieter: there’s a 25mph speed limit on “my” stretch of [route], as it’s nearly downtown and densely settled. If the speed limit were enforced, it would go a long way to quieting the street. It almost never is enforced, though. So I think about resistance now, with this insight about my feeling regarding the noise, the inconsiderateness of the people driving down there, and I have to wonder whether I have a “gravity” problem here, or whether this is a problem that can be improved. I think it’s a bit of both, and it’s also a kind of metaphor for all my problems with [B.]. “Gravity” problems, as per the Designing Your Life book, can’t be designed away. They are always there (like gravity) and it’s stupid to “work” on them as if they were fixable problems. You have to work with them.

My problem with [B.] is that I’m always blending gravity and non-gravity issues I have with this place, to the point that I can’t see straight. For example, the quality-of-life disturbing factor of noise on [street] is – or seems to me to be – both, gravity and non-gravity, and thus it stymies me. It occurs to me that gravity problems need to be accepted (sort of as per current meditation pack, which is Acceptance), but in this particular instance there’s always this nagging feeling of dissatisfaction which insists, “Well, you could up sticks (again!) and move!” …Which in turn sets up a terrific spiral of doubt and recriminations, and which wastes a TON of energy. I find, with a surety that’s blinding and deafening, gravity problems, which I’m then hellbent on turning into non-gravity problems. But all I can do is write a letter to my state rep, my mayor, my ward rep, which outlines my concerns about the volume and speeding issues, and ask for more pedestrian crossings, better management of road conditions (potholes, e.g.), and speed limit enforcement, and inquire also about when [street] will get the “complete streets” makeover (better sidewalks, bike lanes, etc.).

The confusion around what’s a gravity problem and what isn’t causes me a lot of pain, though. Yesterday we had quite a windstorm. Trash once again flew everywhere, exactly like the week before (that windstorm also coincided with trash pickup day). These are design problems (the way trash is collected), but they appear almost as gravity problems once government becomes too sclerotic, unresponsive.

W.’s job search continues, the right thing hasn’t come along; instead, quite a few not-so-right things have, having to do with 1-1/2 hour commutes each way and/or being on call 24/7. I’m encouraging him to keep his eye on “higher class” cyber-security work (vs. consumer-facing companies that require 24/7), and to take the MIT course.


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