Just bitchin'

The Nature of Expansion

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“Your problems are so big compared to mine.”

Not really.

The thing about problems is their intense individuality.

There is no large.

There is no small.

The thing about problems is their ability to expand, to reach into every corner of your life.

Your intellect tells you that losing a loved one is so much more devastating than losing a job. But the heart engages on a different level. Both misfortunes expand, consume, fill. The sufferer’s life is colored; time divided into a Before and an After.

Lost loved one.

Lost job.

Lost pet.

Lost reputation.

Lost limb.

Lost opportunity.

Lost love.

Illness.

Pain.

Misunderstanding.

Unfulfilled desire.

There is no large and there is no small.

There is full, and there is free.

Use this knowledge of volume for compassion.

And for hope.

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Just bitchin'

Petty Thievery

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I haven’t lived in my current location all that long. Just a few years.

But in that time, I’ve tweaked and nudged and lavished tiny touches on the land and buildings that don’t necessarily extend their longevity or increase their value…but that have meaning to me. Some are a bit quixotic. Which means they suit me.

What signifies nothing to others may have strong import for me, the lone resident of my strange, little world.

So it is with my blue reflectors.

They aren’t necessary. No one will mistake the sloping green of wild grassland for the gravel of the driveway proper. No one will require the guidance of electric blue to find their way down a long and winding road to the humble beach cottage at its end.

I set them out because I like their color.

Nothing more.

I like the gaudy sign of civilization that tells me I’m nearly home. I like their shape and size and ability to shine forth no matter the Northwest weather. I like hiking out to the road for mail and sharing it with their azure energy.

I bought five of them. Because they are inexpensive and…again…I like their color.

But now, there are only four. One of their number having been spirited away by a neighbor. For this is a locale where no one comes unless they live here. A miles-long dead end street. Who else, but a neighbor would know of their existence?

First reaction: disbelief. I count them. Twice. But no matter how I try to redefine reality, there is only one way to count to five.

Second reaction: create implausible explanations. As a fiction writer, this is my forte. But at the end of the day, the idea of Bigfoot absconding with the blue reflector that was closest to the road, doesn’t have enough weight to trounce the ugly reality…

…I live among thieves.

Third reaction: vengeance. I shall hike through wind and rain and fatigue until I find the lone, blue reflector standing sentinel in a neighbor’s yard. Then, I will snatch it away and run screaming into the night, knowing my cause is just.

Fourth reaction: puzzlement. Why would someone steal something so easily purchased at the local hardware store? For lack of the $1.50 it costs? For lack of the wherewithal to actually go to the hardware store?

I begin to feel sorry for the thief.  So maybe four is my lucky number. Not five. Maybe four blue reflectors is more appropriate. Feeling philosophical, I traipse back down my four-reflector drive to my cottage. Outwardly, I cling to the concept of ‘all things happen for a reason; to all things there is a purpose.’

I tell myself I hope the reflector-thief finds contentment and joy in his new possession.

But inside…inadmissible fury bubbles and churns. For I am certain that somewhere down his newly-reflectorized road, the culprit will encounter cat-fueled karma that will shiver his bones to splinters and color his world electric blue….

Because karma’s a bitch with a capital ‘B.’

You know…’B’ as in…BLUE.

Electric, reflectorized blue…

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