Dita Parker

Monday, October 25, 2010

Zen and the art of car maintenance

Do anything interesting this weekend, dearest denizens? I spent quality time with my hot man from the cold installing winter tires. We're getting pretty fast at it. A couple of years from now we'll be ready to hit the NASCAR and Formula 1 circuit. What? It's not rocket science, just nuts and bolts. Two cars twice a year, a collaboration between husband, wife and proper tools, semiautomatic chores that free the mind for thinking and talking.

I don't know how much *quality* quality time we spend together, as the concept is generally understood. It makes every other moment sound somehow subpar when I rather enjoy those mundane moments of working together, side by side, doing things as a couple or as a family. "Nothing special" can be just as fun and meaningful as the Kodak moments, even more so. Look back on the moments you remember best and cherish most. Pretty ordinary things you did with friends and family? Yes? No? Wouldn't know, wasn't there?

Maybe Hubby and I are just lucky to enjoy each other's company so much. Or maybe we're clueless, so horribly settled that's all we know, but what I do know is daily life doesn't stress me out, it's a sanctuary. It's the outer world that has been driving me nuts lately, sweetie darlings. Bullying, bigotry, anti this and anti that. It makes me feel three hundred years old, as if no progress has been made, always two steps up and two steps back. I know it's not true. I know it's only my own frustration talking, but when someone starts talking about the True, Obvious, Natural Order of Things as ordained by this and that and the other... It makes me want to scream.

On a cerebral level, I can't help but admire such single-mindedness. On a purely amygdalaic one... You know you make me wanna/Shout/Kick my heels up and/Shout/Throw my hands up and/Shout/Throw my head back and/Shout! It's the stuff fundamentalism is made of. I grant you it is a rock, a solid foundation, on which to stand on. But on that bedrock stands a fortress of a fellow man unwilling to rethink or review. Between us stands a wall, the you're-either-with-me-or-against-me mentality.

I'm not with you, nor am I against you. I don't plot your demise or dream of revenge. [But when I'm Queen Sovereign of the Known Universe, you're first up for post-conflict exit counseling.] I hope for a higher common ground, a human league where everyone stands on the same footing, free and equal in dignity and rights, regardless.

So I scale that wall to see if you're still there and, sure enough, you always are. You retreat behind a monumental righteousness I could never take on because I'm not the Rock of bloody Gibraltar nor do I stand on one. What I do stand behind is the belief equal rights are human rights and everything else is unnatural selection. In that sense I'm as bad a monomaniac as you are.

The disowning, negating, dehumanizing, the rhetoric that sounds as old as it sometimes makes me feel...  It drives me up the Cliffs of Insanity, down the Pit of Despair. And then I remember slavery is almost gone, women's suffrage has mostly been won. Things have changed. They can only get better. With time, with patience, with small daily measures and grand gestures alike.

I bid you good night, dearest denizens. I bid these times good riddance.

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