Monday, December 21, 2009

One Big Wonderful

I'm reminded, today, of a Chinese proverb that I've been seeing a lot lately...

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.

It has a lot of meaning to me, for numerous reasons, some of which give my friends a good laugh in the "Oh, Shelly, what are we ever going to do with you?" vein. Singing bird....uh-huh. Not too tough to figure that one out.

But, never mind the bird my friends give me crap about...

There are many days in which I think, "WHY am I tending to this stupid tree, anyway? Those branches are empty--been empty for a long time. This so-called 'singing bird' appears to be extinct or something..."

That is to say, I get tired of being diligent, sometimes. I get tired of being supportive. I get tired of being conscientious and thoughtful when I see no return on the investment. And it can be over the most ridiculous of things, like, I get tired of how I always make the effort to park carefully at my brownstone so others can find a spot, while every day, I come home to Johnny-Rude-Boy (new neighbor! YAY!) who likes to space each of his two cars very broadly over as much real estate as he can claim. Then I have to park down the street and trudge through the snow in my nice shoes. See what I mean? That kind of thing.

And lots of other things, too.

What? You thought this whole thing was going to be about parking? Nah...don't you worry about the parking. If he gets bad enough, I have ways of making him suffer. That's right...Pollyanna with a generous dash of Cruella at the core. I'm nice and all, but Karma is my very, very, very good friend.

It becomes a case of Am I A Complete Doormat? vs. No, You're Fine, That Guy Is Just a Stupid, Thoughtless Prick, with one problem: I never really allow myself to believe that That Guy Is Just a Stupid, Thoughtless Prick. I'd rather believe that, given the opportunity, they'd prefer to be "nice"--they would think and act with "kindness" if they knew it mattered. I don't believe that people are bad, but I do believe that people are quite capable of doing "bad" things when they are not armed with enough information. I'd like to think that if Johnny-Rude-Boy actually witnessed me hauling 20 bags of groceries to my house from half a block away, he'd think, "You know...if I just moved my car up three feet closer to that driveway, she could fit her car in, right in front of the building." Maybe he'd picture his mother hauling 20 bags of groceries from a half a block away, and it would get him to thinking. But it's not something I worry about. Karma, remember? He might not get up just then and move his car or anything, but, maybe next time her drove up to the house, he'd think about the possibility of being labeled a space-sucking jerk.

Or not.

But that's something we'll leave up to Karma. If that happens, I predict car trouble. For him, not me.


Obviously, that's the Pollyanna.

I don't dislike that girl, Pollyanna, but I must tell you that lately, she's been killing me. Disappointment. I'm tending to the tree, and that tree is beautiful, but, no singing bird. No birds of any kind. No squirrels, either. That beautiful tree seems like little more than a fool's folly, and the worst feeling I could ever have is to think myself a fool. "If you build it, they will come", has gone right out the window. A few times. I stopped worrying about whether I was being a doormat, when I became overwhelmed with evidence that I was being a complete idiot. I'd take "doormat", over that, any day. I would also be satisfied with any evidence of You're Fine, That Guy Is Just a Stupid, Thoughtless Prick. Either of those are workable.

I wonder sometimes--today, for example--how long is one expected to maintain that space in their heart, while they wait for something wonderful to happen? How long?

Or is it simply a matter of defining "wonderful"? Because a lot of nice things do happen in a day...just, not the nice thing you had in mind when you created that beautiful space.

Well...sorry. Sorry, all you tiny little nice things. Sorry. I'm tired. I'm tired of years of sifting the universe for little nuggets of nice, that I then have to melt down to make one big "wonderful". Today, I am going to very selfishly ask for that one big wonderful to arrive in one piece. No assembly required. Not some little wonderful, like somebody shoveled the walk and it wasn't me. I want a gigantic, knock-me-over-the-head, OMG-I-Didn't-See-That-Coming, AMAZING wonderful. Just one. And I promise not to get drunk on the wonderfulness and ask for another. One big wonderful would last me a looooooong time. Like at least 10 years What do you say, universe? How 'bout it?

And I wish you ALL one big wonderful. It's been incredibly tough lately...people dying and before they're even in the ground, they and their families become food for the wolves, people being really, REALLY harsh to one another, acting like it's their right to judge, call people names, and dismiss them--People just feeling like it's their JOB, somehow, that they are entitled, to be the mouthpiece of "right" and "wrong" for the whole world, and failing to act with anything other than selfishness. (Yeah, yeah...I know...Twitter, etc., means talking, but seriously? STFU and listen. Not to me--to yourselves. Now picture what it would feel like if somebody said that sh*t to/about YOU. Not so nice, is it? it is possible to be funny and interesting without tearing somebody else down....try it. Like the saying goes, "Kindness is like a boomerang...")

I can't help but think that one big wonderful might just cure all of that...we're nearing the end of a decade--it would be a perfect time to have it.

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