THIS WEEK IN REFLECTION
On Monday I went to my first Buddhist meditation class. Firstly, Google maps was a LIAR and had me driving around an assisted living old folks neighborhood behind a Buffalo Wild Wings. When I finally got to the right place, I was all wound up because I was lost and couldn’t rely on the magic satellite in the sky to get me where I wanted to be. Then, I learned the class is held in a wine and canvas-type store open during the day (which made it extra hard to find). I’m trying to focus on my breathing while looking at wonky pictures of flamingos and Christmas wreaths and rabbits painted all black (which felt slightly ominous). The class sat in chairs (no need to concern myself about pants vs. shorts) and then we meditated. It’s simple: make sure your spine is straight, breathe, and if your brain wanders, think about your breathing. Cool, cool. There was a Buddhist prayer song played over a speaker, and though I am not a person of faith, I tried to chill and appreciate the singing + violin.
We talked a lot about anger, the theme for this summer series. Does anger serve us? Anger, the definition goes, is a delusion. You find something you don’t like, make bigger its terrible qualities, and want to harm it. Thinking about anger being a delusion is, for me, helpful. At least, the people I know, myself included, always make the target of their anger bigger than it is. There are pivotal moments in my life defined by anger, included an incident from 2018 that was still angering me. The night before the class, in fact, I had a dream that this person was marrying into my family and I did everything I could to sabotage her. As the meditation leader said some people hang on to anger for hours or days, I could have laughed at my nightmare bred from four years of rage.
But, since the topic was so challenging and made me rethink a lot, I actually ended class trying to calm an anxiety-related choke caused by my wind pipe trying to close itself. Yes, this happens a lot. Yes, it even happens when I’m sleeping. I think much like therapy, this is going to be harder before it gets easier. I have another class Monday.
As for my plants, I think I have a mealy bug problem. I learned that cacti apparently give off a scent that attracts ants, which are small enough to reach the teeny mealy bugs on your cactus to eat them, which is great because I can’t get to them with a Q-tip or a toothpick or anything. Sometimes solutions beget problems, and this crazy (it’s short!) forum about how to get ants off your cacti served as both a warning and a funny story.
In the middle of the week, Wednesday or Thursday, we went outside to water all the flowers and found a bullet on the cement patio by our back door. Though it wasn’t smashed, which would indicate that it had hit something, it did not have the casing, which means it was fired from a gun.
We called the police to file a report, and while we were under the impression that someone had fired this thing up in the air, the officer was inspecting the door for signs of forced entry. He sort of came to the conclusion that the bullet had likely been fired into the air, and came down through the branches of the huge tree next to our house, which prevented it from smashing directly on the pavement. While I tried to let this go in my brain, my body was a tattletale, increasing my blood pressure and gifting me with an itchy rash on the back of my leg! I already had another follow-up doctor’s appointment scheduled for Friday, and we talked about how anxiety is sometimes in my mind, but it can be physical only. How tricksy!
I did hit up the Goodwill and buy pretty much every Halloween decoration I could find. I’m always happy buying used items; I hate getting new things. And I’ve never decorated for Halloween before, other than the rat and spider Cupcakes & Machetes mailed me, because there’s not a lot of room in an apartment to store tons of holiday decorations. But now we have a house. A spooky house it shall be!
It was a week full of horror movies, though, which always make me happy. I watched the New Zealand horror-comedy Black Sheep and got to be part of a guest interview on Sugar & Scream’s blog.
The weekly Thursday crew met up per usual after watching Ringu. I learned the American version, The Ring, is only one of many. There are the original books, the Japanese movie (that we watched) and a Korean version, too.
Friday was the monthly horror club, at which we discussed Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things. I really enjoyed this 70s flick, which is done by the same director as Black Christmas. It may be taboo, but I enjoyed Dead Things better than the cult classic Black Christmas.
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POST
Such a bummer that Sarai Walker’s book The Cherry Robbers feels more like a resigned sigh after the explosion that was Dietland. Now I’m looking into the ghost movie Winchester, which has the same synopsis as The Cherry Robbers, but actually includes the ghosts readers were expecting.
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POST
I knew very little going into We Hear Voices by Evie Green other than there is a respiratory virus that can lead to death in adults and children, and that the main character’s son hears voices after he’s become infected. Perhaps you’re ready for a pandemic novel? Review Wednesday.
BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE
Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 202
Owned Books on TBR Last Week: 181
Owned Books on TBR Today: 185
Thanks to Laura Tisdall for her recommendation!