January 4, 2011

God, grant us the
Serenity to accept things we cannot change, the
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference

I've solved the ADHD problem.  Give the children something sufficiently meaningful and real on which to focus.  Children with what we call ADHD are either smarter, more interested in reality, or deeper than their environments.  Environments which are, by the way, set and controlled by teachers.  Which could cause some of us to conclude children with ADHD are smarter, more realistic, and/or deeper than their teachers. But that notwithstanding, if you fix the environment, the children will pay attention.  So fixing the environment fixes the problem.  The problem is in the environment, not in the children.  Sorry, children who have been medicated, denied, and misunderstood.  Forgive us please. We know not what we do.  Even though we all like to think we know what we do.  But frankly, most adults are stupid.

There are people, for instance some people who survived the holocaust, who can lose everything including their most beloved family and homes, and who still live well.  They continue; they find love and contentment in the world.  How is that possible?  Pema Chodron teaches us that Buddha taught we are not to struggle against the pain in our lives.  Because struggling inevitably increases suffering.   I'm paying attention to this idea.

My neighbor showed up the day before yesterday because our dogs ran off together some many days ago.  He was worried and wanted to know if I was worried.  I was not.  By last night, my daughter and husband were both worried.  I was not.  Though, I was beginning to think about dark possibilities.

I believe in freedom.  God Bless Me, I must be a real American!  I deeply believe in freedom.  I completely understand that my free chickens, cats, dogs, and children will encounter pain in the free world.  Because what Williams Goldman said is as true now as it ever will be: "Life is pain Highness.  Anyone who says differently is selling something."  I can not shelter them from pain.  Holding them home or down or trapped  or cooped or schooled will not shelter them from pain.  Holding them could mollify my fear, my need for control, my desire to protect them, and my ego.  But it will not shelter them from pain nor death.  Indeed, as the impulse to control might appear to serve me, it is a disservice to life.  Even if life causes death, the illusion of control is a disservice to healthy life.

I mean that on a fundamental and well balanced level.  Of course, I still teach manners, boundaries, and reach to grab a toddler heading for the road.  I do understand the need for law and what it means to be a citizen.  Never the less...

Even as I know I will grieve again, I struggle (irony!) to remember not to grasp and struggle against the pain in this life.   Pain is inevitable.  We all grieve and suffer.  Struggle against or attempts to control that truth only increase suffering.  You can not fix the problem through denial.  You can't fix the problem by keeping the kids, dogs, cats or chickens locked in the coop.  Ask any addict, there are no drugs to fix this problem.

"The police came looking for Jimmy Jazz.  I said he was here but he went past."  Jackson came home just now.  He is skinny, exhausted, and probably full of worms.  We've loved him and fed him and leave him here, for now, to nap while we go tend the cows.   Life is punk rock hard core.  Chaos might have some wisdom for us.


Joe said...

"More than any time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -- Woody Allen

Katherine said...

Woody, get thee behind me!

Katherine said...

Otherwise known as: why are the people I love most always trying to make me admit Woody Allen is brilliant?

Elaine said...

All well and good, but what if the free range dogs wreaked havoc on someone else's animals or property?
It sounds dreamy, but is basically irresponsible.

Katherine said...

Hi Elaine,

You make a great point. This gets at those boundaries I was talking about. Generally, my dogs free range in a 1/2 mile wooded circle around my house. The extended walk about was very unusual. But true, it did happen. And it could happen again.

My dogs are so well behaved my neighbors believe they are behind an invisible fence. We've heard them say, as they walk past the yard, "Don't worry about those barking dogs, there is an invisible fence." Amazing, since the dogs don't even wear collars.

But then free dogs, generally, as with free children, are pretty steady and well mannered citizens.

Cecelia (CC) said...

what is freedom? i wish I had a better idea of it, a clearer way to it.

Katherine said...

I think the best we can hope for is freedom from worsening our suffering.

It is odd, how there is no freedom.

It is odder still how we author so many of our troubles, eh?