Chanting and Cursing

Yesterday I smashed our car.

Oh, it could have been when I was having one my bottled-up, rage-filled moments, which seem to be occurring more frequently of late as I try to cope with all the crap happening to us right now. I’m in the red of stress a lot of the time with my jumble of nerves pulled tight.

Despite the above, I generally do try to be a “defensive” driver; however, I do have my episodes where the other drivers are like vermin and I wish I had a box of D-Con with a car-to-car delivery mechanism.

So the accident could easily have been because of maybe a little too much aggressive driving or driving a little too fast or taking a curve a little too sharp. Or it could have been because of righteously zipping through that just-turned-red-but-should-have-been-yellow-longer light. Or it could have been because of my using our car to show a stupid asshole driver the error of his ways.

But no, it was none of those things.

It was just plain old fashioned stupidity involving myself and a stationary object.

I was maneuvering around the parking lot at Healthnet Southwest Health and Dental Center looking for a space. I parked in what looked like a space, but after getting out I decided it wasn’t suitable because of the way my Mazda 5 stuck out. I decided I should go back to the edge of the far lot where it turns gravel and then into grass and some people were making their own spaces as they may in that limbo area.

As I backed out of that non-space, I started to turn my car so I could go in that proposed direction. But there were three cars in line already coming towards me from there. This is significant, because anyone who knows the lot I’m talking about knows the path to it is a two-way but one lane stretch. So I’d have to at the very least wait until the three cars cleared out before I could progress.

So I got the bright idea, and it actually would have been a bright idea if I hadn’t also gotten a bout of stupid, to just park in the street. The street’s not that far away.

And besides, I’d have to move anyway so those other three cars could clear out.

So I switched my reverse turn so I could be poised to head out into the street instead. I was watching the end car, a pickup, in a nearby row of parked cars, worried I was going to hit it as I backed up due to the tight confines of the lot.

I didn’t hit it.

No, instead I hit a great big pole that was also planted at the end of the row. Or rather, not the pole, but the wide cement encasement around the pole, no doubt placed there to protect it from stupid people like me. And when I say hit, I mean HIT with sound effects.

I smashed in the driver’s side rear corner of our beautiful car.

Fortunately it is still drivable and the hatch still opens and closes. It still should probably be fixed, but with money being the none that it is right now, drivable means it will have to wait.

Poor car.

So what’s that have to do with Chanting and Cursing? I appreciate the indulgence of you reading this far, as I am getting to that. And if you aren’t reading this far, to hell with you.

Anyway, so today I went to the Post Office and then to the store. And of course it was raining, which didn’t put me in the best of moods to tackle those chores. Usually I deal with my less than best of moods by yelling at the vermin drivers, cursing at them, gesturing at them, and asking rhetorical questions to them, like:

Are you waiting for permission, or what?

You know it’s not going to get any greener, don’t you?

What the fuck are you waiting for?

I could go on here with commands to the other drivers as well, as I have a whole barrage of on the fly driving chatter, largely peppered with expletives. I sometimes include the weather, the road, and the world in such invectives, being the equal opportunity curser that I am.

But today, starting with my initial getting into the car and starting to curse the weather, I chanted instead: Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Literally in a forced change of wordage: Goddam fucking wea-Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (NMRK).

I chanted NMRK all the way to the post office. I treated the clerk with respect and she treated me likewise. I chanted to the store as well. Oh, I had my moments along the way where I started to let a Fuck or Asshole out, but I caught myself and said NMRK even louder, trying to keep my mind from falling into the negative space that draws me.

I should say right now, I’m not much of a religious person.

There’s just too much evil in the world that’s been committed in the dogmatic name of God, Ideology or Faith for me to generally have a high opinion of such things. I also can’t just believe something as my naturally philosophically critical circuits aren’t wired that way. Some religions I can appreciate more than others, but belief itself is more my husband’s bailiwick.

Rituals in general seem more geared towards promoting the self-proclaimed elite rather than promoting the humanity of humanity.

I’m Buddhist more by marriage than by firm conviction, though Buddhism is one of the appreciated religions I mentioned above. A lot of the basic ideas and values of it make sense to me; more so than, say, a cross, seventy-two virgins, or circumcision. But the chanting — praying — of it is difficult for me take with the seriousness that the truly devout — like my husband — do.

Still, I’m of a somewhat pragmatic bent. So chanting in the car is one of the ways I’m trying to improve the way I handle stress, anger, frustration, and life sucking more than I would prefer. For we all know that familiar Einstein quote that is easy to remember but difficult to put into practice:

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity.

Cursing sure as shit hasn’t done me much good. I’m generally as angry after the curse as before it. So why the hell do I do it? Damned if I know.  But I’m trying like a motherfucker to change that god-awful habit of mine.

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.