Compassionate Murderer

I think, I think way too much.

I spend a lot of time thinking about God, loss, sorrow, death, truth, eternity. The other day I was out in the little mini-orchard watering the fruit trees and clearing the weeds around them. I do a lot of thinking when gardening. Out of nowhere, I threw up my hands, looked skyward and said, “God, I just don’t understand IT. After all this time of reflecting, studying, praying, reading, I am more confused than ever.” Afterwards I had strong feeling that I should forget everything that I have ever been taught about God, Jesus, Christianity and the “RULES.” Just start fresh with a Beginner’s Mind. There was something refreshing about that possibility.

Soon I found myself wanting to read more from a variety of sources. I went several days in a row spending quiet time before going to bed and waking with a sense of awareness, a sense of purpose or mission for the day. Yesterday morning, as I watched a beautiful sunrise through our front window, I thought, “Today, I need to be more compassionate. We are all wounded in some way. And, that compassion needs to involve everything and everyone, my dogs, my cats, the stupid neighbors across the street… everyone.”

Now, out here in rural America, we have a large metal building that is divided into three sections. The first section is a 30′ by 40′ shop connected to the second section which is an equal sized “hay barn” and that connects to another section of 30′ by 40′ which has 5 horse stalls and one tack room. Having no horses, the tack room is filled with, uh, everything. It is an absolute mess and every time I walk by it I try to ignore it. Yesterday, after my commitment to be more compassionate, I decided it was high time to tackle the disgusting job of cleaning up the tack room.

The tack room is dark and it has been left alone for months and during that time it had turned into a black widow spider sanctuary. Every piece of paper, every bucket, every shovel, every can, every bag, every tool, every glove, every hoola hoop had a black widow spider on or near it. I hate black widow spiders and I began killing them. Around the 23rd killing, (I know, I know, the fact that I was actually counting is indicative of a problem too) I noticed that every one of those spiders were trying to get away from me and a couple of them were very, very close to my fingertips. I chased those spiders down and I squished them. I squished them hard and I squished them long. Then I thought, “Holy shit, you were supposed to be working on being compassionate to all things today.”

Naturally, I immediately went into a justification of the 23 acts of violence toward the poisonous spiders. After all, don’t they kill their mates after mating with them? What’s that all about? One bite from a black widow could threaten my own well being too. They also can be harmful for beloved dogs and cats and I even tossed the chickens in that category. Then I thought, “You are killing them because you are afraid of them.” Then I thought, “How many people have I not been compassionate with because of my own fears?”

I thought about that for a long time, realizing that fears come in all shapes and sizes. Then, being a pragmatic man, I resumed killing another 6 or so black widows spiders as I finished cleaning up the tack room. I think I am going to put “being more compassionate” on the shelf for a bit. For Plan B, I recently realized that I also have an issue with trust. Maybe trusting will be easier. We’ll see. I will probably make a mess of that too. Hell, maybe I’ve been squishing people I don’t trust too?

Oh yes, as I left the tack room, I started thinking about the book, Charlotte’s Web. I think too much.