Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How the ♥♥♥♥ do you kill a Turtle?

I'm not going to tell them how my sister killed her sick turtle by putting it in the freezer. They might not understand how that is Zen writing.

Well, if her intent was to relieve the turtle from suffering maybe we could forgive her. But it was just that, who wants a turtle covered with fungus who could barely move?

Our freezer wasn't the modern type that auto defrosts. It was more like a cavern mostly filled with ice. I'm not sure we ever defrosted that thing with its big chrome handle and obnoxious heavy curves.

Wait, I wasn't going to write about that. “No, Kim, don't you dare mention that,” she said. “If you ever say that I'll never talk to you again.”

“I just didn't know what else to do,” she said. “It was so sick, and it would have died anyway, you know.”

A few years later we had a Fourth of July party, and Alex, the kid closest to my age, went with me to our garage where I had a goldfish. “Let's see what happens,” I said, “when we put iodine in the water.” So we did. At first it did bother the fish, but later….

Why didn't I speak up and save the turtle? Why did Alex save the fish? We were both responsible for the demise of these helpless creatures.

Today my wife was bothered that someone didn't give as they had promised. “Should I say something,” she asked? I told her that I called up and complained to a lawn care company because they cleaned up one yard by blowing all the debris across the street. Tonight they used a hose rather than a leaf blower. A little progress in Austin.

I can imagine the turtle and the goldfish exchanging stories in pet heaven about how there owners were missing their hearts. I wonder what stories the lawn debris tell about how they happened to be relocated by a noisy wind machine.

P.S. My wife claims it was she or us that froze the turtle… not my sister. Is there a statute of limitations on turtle and fish abuse? She claims it was the most humane way to send it to the next world. We didn’t have Google to ask, “How the ♥♥♥♥ do you kill a Turtle?

P.S.S. My sister Gail just wrote, "I never put the turtle in the freezer. I think it was Linda (my wife).

But I did bury my alive turtle along with Sandy's dead one to see if it would get to China. In Grandma and Grandpa‘s yard in Portland." So I wrote her to see if they made it to China.“

P.S.S.S. “You can use my name. They got to China I think but I'm not sure.”

P.S.S.S.S. Our parents shielded us from death. So I guess we had to do our own experimenting. When we did kaddish tonight at prayer service, I asked if we could say a prayer for some animals that I killed when I was a kid. The rabbi said sure, we can do that.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

I'm Sorry... or I'm Wrong

I get in a lot of trouble trying to defend myself. Someone says something, I respond, and then they really get angry. Why don't explanations make things better? And why don't I learn from my mistakes?

Should I just let it be? There is that expression about adding insult to injury. The alternative seems to be to let it be according to both the Beatles and a Zen koan.

I've given others the advice that if you add wood to a fire you'll hardly squelch it. Rather, you make the fire hotter and last longer. Why don't I take my own advice?

I've also used the expression that it is better to be right than alive. Letting it be seems closer to being alive. A flower is trampled on. Does it rise up and hit the trampled? Or does it simple enjoy its new posture?

The flower didn't exactly do anything to cause its trampling. It just happened to be growing in the wrong place. Yet, if it were human, it might have taken its trampling as personal as I often do.

When I dig a little deeper I often find that my trampling had little to do with the situation at hand. Often someone had a bad day or week, and I'm available to be stomped upon. Again, turning the other cheek seems like a better way to cool the flames.

P.S. I talked this over with my wife. She suggested saying, "I'm sorry." How can some people be so smart?

P.S.S. Then I let my wife read this. She said, “You know, there is one other possibility.” "What’s that," I said. “That you are wrong.”