Thursday, December 3, 2015

How to feel better

Most often I have a negative initial reaction to something and then, employing all my cobbled together Buddhism, if I can, I modify my reaction until my relationship to it is peaceful:

He can't help drooling, poor dear man!


Oh, but in the end, I do sort of like my job.


Despite all that, just look at it, the snow is so beautiful. 

But every rare once in awhile I must work in the opposite direction...

Last year, at a social event, my wife and I were seated with a talkative couple. We talked, much guided by the woman of this couple, about, mostly, work and art. For my part the library I work at came up, and so too did this, clerkmanifesto. The woman evinced so much interest in my blog and library life that I duly noted down on some handy piece of paper, at her request, the name of this blog.

This fall, at least a half year later, my wife and I ran into this couple again as they hosted some music in the woman's art studio during a building wide open studio event. With a brushing off of rust we all remembered one another. About me the woman was notably enthusiastic.

"Oh yeah!" She exclaimed. "You write a blog about hating your job!"

While I was not charmed by this statement, I took it with a grain of salt. Clearly she had not read my blog, but of the dozens, likely hundreds of people who have evinced interest in it, you, yes you reading it now, represent an almost astonishing exception, a lottery like fraction of the tiny percentage of people who ever do actually follow up and read my blog. And if her memory of what I'm doing here is rough and wrong, my wryness and complexity can confuse people. So I understand that too. As to her enthusiasm over her memory, perhaps that can best be chalked up to her nature.

So in this case my response was one of almost reflexive equanimity and understanding. And yet, running into this person happened weeks and weeks ago now, and something about "Oh yeah! You write a blog about hating your job!" still rings in my ears.

So on my walk today I considered it. And I remembered how I feel about everyone in the world who does not read my blog. And I considered her. And I thought:

What an idiot.

And I felt better.

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