The past summer was memorable, but in a let’s-please-never-talk-about-this-again kind of way. I experienced every negative emotion I could muster during that time. I blew my stack (more than) a few times. I cried, lamented, regretted, raged, and, as you know, I ranted. I was a mess.
As quickly as problems were solved, new ones emerged. Increasingly expensive ones. I was angry. I was bitter. I was like a tinderbox stricken by a flaming arrow. I was no fun to be around.
I must have been so little fun, in fact, that my husband, one day, out of the clear blue, suggested Buddhism to me. Buddhism, which only conjured images of Richard Gere dressed head-to-toe in white, Adam Sandler in Anger Management, and Animal from The Muppets. And then I laughed. And walked away.
A short time later, I asked him if he was serious. He intimated that I should explore an Eastern philosophy that would disallow me from road rage, afflictions only cured by caffeine, and biting my thumb at major retailers. And he responded that, yes, in fact, he was serious, and he thought it would help me.
And if you’ve ever been angry, like really angry, you know there’s nothing that catapults anger into fury like an intangible solution. Like breathing.
I’m not going to lie, I was more than perturbed that my husband suggested that I do things like meditate and let things go. Has he ever seen me when the cable company screws up our bill? Has he seen the discounts I get? I mean, who would do the dirty work around here if I was all being satisfied with what I had?
I mean, Buddhism totally flies in the face of my religion of excess and yelling at will.
But after I got over my, ahem, anger, I did decide to do a bit of research, looking for some disqualifying factor, some reason why acquainting myself with this philosophy would be blasphemous and detrimental to my existence. And all I was able to learn was that a lot of people see Christianity and Buddhism as complementary, and use both as such.
I was sunk. So, I let it go.
We have this corner shelf built into the wall adjacent to our family room. Its initial contents were three binders full of sci-fi movies. When we began to reconstruct our house after el verano del infiero (that’s the summer from Hell), I decided that the binders must go, and we should find something more meaningful to put in that area.
I half jokingly decided that spot was meant for Buddha.
Surely, there was enough room in this house for one more, and, from what I understand, Jesus is practically begging for his company.
So, we bought a Buddha statue. Maybe to remind us of a bad time, maybe to usher us into a better time, maybe to remind us to take stock of our blessings. Whatever the case, Overstock.com had us covered.
And Buddha sits in this corner now. Trouble is, I haven’t quite been able to embrace the quiet power of the Buddha since he’s arrived. Sometimes, in fact, I feel like I don’t get it at all.
I have come up with a few ideas about what we should do with the statue, though, like ‘shoving him up your ass’, bowling with Buddha, hanging shiny Christmas garland around his neck, filling his lap with hard candy, and having him wear my daughter’s knit hat, the one with the two-toned pink butterfly.
I’ve followed each selection up with the suggestion that he shouldn’t mind. Because he’s Buddha.
Clearly, nothing has clicked yet.
Sure, he reminds me to step back a bit, as there are still a few wayward issues in this house. Sure, he helps me turn the pot down to simmer on occasion. But he’s definitely not whispering sweet nothings in my ear. Not yet, at least.
I am going to take this as a learning process. We’re going to try occupying the same house for a bit.
In the meantime, though, what do you think? Root beer barrels or starlight mints?