On the Challenge of Equanimity


(GROUND Zero) Black holes in White Space. Gaaah. (Photo taken by the author.)

(GROUND Zero) Black holes in White Space. Gaaah. (Photo taken by the author.)

They’re drilling holes through the studio’s ceilings. The sound is harsh, grating, almost purposely designed to leave one’s teeth on edge. The pauses in the din though are slightly more upsetting, because then I can hear the crackle of cement and plaster falling, coating the floor underneath with the grayish dust of pulverized concrete.

They’re drilling holes in my studio. I know the workers are just doing their jobs, but it’s hard for me to restrain my anger and my annoyancehard for me to suppress the irrational and instinctive sense of violation and disruption. After two years of keeping everything immaculate and orderly, of carefully tending to and maintaining the integrity of things, to have strangers come in and deliberately destroy sections of what Abbey and I have worked hard to preserve is, for lack of of a better phrase, bitterly galling.

I know they’ve promised to restore everything to its original condition, once they’ve done the work they need to do to proceed with their construction on the floor above. But it’s a promise that’s barely reassuring. How do I know that they won’t miss something? How are they going to match the exact same shade of the white paint they’ve destroyed with its organic fading? How, in other words, are they going to ensure that they leave no traces of their sacrilege behind?

I don’t know. And it’s the uncertainty, just as much as the sounds of drilling, hammering and yelling, that’s making my teeth clench and my forehead crease.

And somewhere around (or over me) I can feel the universe’s mocking grin:

Can you maintain your equanimity through all this? Is your peace of mind really so fragile that it’ll break as easily as flakes of painted concrete?

It’s a challenge and a tauntand one that I know I’ll have no chance of rejecting.

Sometimes, I really don’t like the universe.

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