The big gasp everyone took at the first images of hundreds of gallons of oil gushing into the Gulf is finally being exhaled as the BP Cap appears to be holding. I wonder what my dad, an engineer of all sorts, would have thought of that debacle. Here is an oil and gas giant with massive amounts of resources, but none that could stop the deep sea monster they created. Some one at BP with brains finally stepped up to the monster and is resolving the problem. Maybe every one in the Gulf can start breathing again.
This makes me feel free. Free to go to the Gulf of Mexico for a vacation, maybe the redneck riviera in Florida. They have been advertising a lot here in Texas, and it looks nice. I can get out of the city and breathe, something we all need to practice more. Breath can do a lot of things. It is used as the basis of meditation and yoga. It brings life to our bodies and our minds. It creates a feeling of calm. We walk around all day taking in short breaths and don’t realize we are suffocating ourselves. The more everyone practices breathing more fully, the happier everyone will be with each other.
On the other hand, sometimes being quiet and breathing is just not enough. There are times where you have to stand up for yourself or someone else because the other person isn’t breathing. In fact, they are hyperventilating or choking on their own ego. (Kind of like Mel Gibson.)
The other day I was in bumper to bumper traffic. In front of me was a large man in a large pick up truck with really large tires. He was smoking a cigarette and tailgating a small Toyota in front of him. There was essentially no wear to go to escape, except slowly changing lanes. The guy in the truck was upset, smoking and providing multiple one-finger bouquets to the driver of the Toyota. The truck could have easily driving right over the small Toyota, but smartly the Toyota driver exited the highway (with his blinker) where I was exiting. All of a sudden, the big pick up decided to exit as well while throwing his cigarette out of the window, and continued the relentless pursuit of torture of the driver of the Toyota. I exited to the right turn only lane where I was all alone. The Toyota sat helpless with the big pick up truck behind in a long line of cars at a traffic light to turn left. I was free to do what I wanted. In my zen way, I pulled up next to the truck, looked at the driver and smiled. I rolled my window down, he rolled his window down. I asked politely with a smile “did that truck come with an ashtray?” He screamed at me “What do you care?” I smiled back and said “I care.” His retort, “FU!” as I expected. So I asked, “Why don’t you leave that person in front of you alone and have a nice day.” And as I drove off, I could see his fat body bouncing around flailing his arms as he screamed. He was stuck in heavy traffic, and I was free in so many ways. God it felt good. (This is not recommended, especially in Texas with a lot of gun toting rednecks. Leave it to the professionals and those like me who are too stupid to know better.)
I’m feeling really good now, relaxed. Free to pursue my writing again, continue volunteer work, enjoy my new job, hang out with friends, and wait for my fantasy football league invitations. There is something to be said for breathing.
“Our grand business in life is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
— Thomas Carlyle