Day 2, Part II – The night of the bugs

(No spider pictures were used/harmed in the making of this blog. If you really want to see a picture of scary spider stuff, go here. Otherwise, please look at this picture of pretty flowers that were on the property. And if you get the foolish idea of putting up a pic of spiders or sending me one, you will be dead to me. Dead.)

Oh my god!flowers for bug post

Apparently, changes in the weather mean changes in the number of bugs running rampant through the ashram.

I’d been doing well at following the rule about not killing or harming any living things – including bugs. (I had not been doing as well with the whole no cursing/foul/abusive language thing. Like that’s a shock to anyone.)

But when I tried to go to the bathroom that night, I got stuck at the beginning of the hall.

Before, there’d only been one large spider on the curtain covering the window at the end of the hall. I could reach either of the two bathrooms without venturing too close, and I could keep a careful eye on it to make sure it didn’t make any threatening movements.


I got to the edge of the hallway, and there were multiple spiders – okay, two – right there.


One on each side of the hallway.

Now, when I say “hallway,” I don’t mean a huge, cavernous thing. I mean a tiny little cramped can-barely-fit-two-people-passing-in-the-night kind of hall. If I were to put a foot in the center, each spider would be inches (okay, maybe 10 inches, unless you’re a guy, then it would be fourteen inches) away from touching me.

So I stood there. I stared down the hall. I stared at the potentially 24 beady eyes (did you know spiders can have up to 12 eyes each? For real?!).

The spiders held their ground.

A newcomer was sitting on the couch, and I considered asking for her help. But the little sign in the bathroom said that “ashram comes from the word shram which means effort. Therefore, the ashram is a place to put efforts to improve yourself, understand spiritual teaching and live with discipline.” It also told me that “nonviolence is the first step of the spiritual path. To be aware of all forms of life and to walk in harmony with these living beings. This includes small bugs…”

I decided to do it.

I stamped my foot at the spiders, and luckily they didn’t run at me – they ran away! I was victorious!

So I ran into the bathroom and then dashed back out.


Except then I went to my bedroom.

I guess the bugs were trying to get away from the impending storm because they were battering the hell out of my window pane, buzzing and flapping and desperately trying to get in.

One succeeded.

It was a little one. Kinda cute. Definitely not a threat. I ignored it as it flew around and finally settled down somewhere. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Then, out of nowhere, another bug landed on my bed.

Not little.

Not cute.

Like an earwig with a full-blown case of roid rage.

What could I do?

I wasn’t supposed to kill it. Plus I wasn’t even sure if I could kill it. It might take my weapon and use it against me.

While I sat there motionless and stared, trying to figure out a plan to put into action to get away from the intruder, it kept exploring my bed. It wandered into my box of colored pencils. And got stuck.


I grabbed the opposite end of the box and quickly chucked the box into the main room.

I had survived and so had the…well, I have no idea what sports figure to compare it to..ummm…Pete Rose? Mike Tyson? Some guy who took steroids or was scary or something, but in bug form.

I decided that I should go to sleep and try to ignore the bugs. I put my computer on the table next to the bed, put on one of my favorite movies, and curled up.

The aforementioned “little” and “cute” bug immediately flew into my face, landing on my cheek!


Freaking out!

I pulled my sheet over my face, trying to sleep covered from the horror, protected from any potential future insect forays, but it was too warm for that, and I eventually had to move it.

I slept with my face uncovered. No worries about zombies that night. But plenty about bugs.


People are crazy, but you don’t have to be an asshole about it

ImageI really think my title says it all, but let me explain.

First – the Boston marathon bombing was horrific.  Straight up, no questions asked, completely horrific. 

Second – the escape attempts (thus far) for the two bombers (alleged bombers? Maybe not so much at this point) have also been horrific.

 The number of people terrorized, frightened, seriously injured, killed, or otherwise impacted is horrific, too.

Do you see the point I’m making here?  It’s all horrific.  And the bombers are crazy, obviously, because no sane person could do this while maintaining their sanity.  Even if they began sane, they lost is somewhere along the line.  (And while there’s an argument to be made here about sanity versus insanity and whether or not violent acts cause it or are the cause of it…well, that’s for another time.)

Because once I’ve made sure you understand that this whole thing is horrific, we get to the fact that some people are just assholes when things like this happen and the news comes out.

Yes, the bombers are immigrants.  They are brothers.  One received a scholarship from the City of Cambridge. 

But…and here’s a big but…you can’t just turn around and say, “Those bastards needed to have gone home instead of taking all this from us and then attacking us.”  Because then you’ve started to move beyond just the two brothers.  You’ve moved into more.  Because, while I’m paraphrased this from a Facebook posting I saw on someone’s page – someone I used to think was intelligent and well-educated and tolerant of humanity – the immediate response from this person’s friend was that, yeah, people like that do it in other countries, too, and we need to get rid of these immigrants.

This making of an “other” has been a favorite topic of mine for a long time, and this is what we’ve doing.  Forget that they have gone to school here.  Forget that they have family here who are horrified at what was done and that have said that, could they speak to the boy, would tell him to give himself up.

We need to somehow remove this “other” from our society, and so we say that all immigrants who get free things have no right to be crazy and attack us.   We call them terrorists, and I’m not arguing that, but there was talk of them being “homegrown terrorists” (i.e. Americans by birth).  Why make the distinction?  Why bring it up at all?  If someone is crazy and kills someone, their immigrant status should not matter, unless it’s a question of deportation.  Otherwise, if they are living here, and if they are being educated here, and if they are part of our society, they are part of us.  They are not other. 

I just fear that this is going to turn into another witch hunt, where anyone who is not American by birth is going to be viewed with suspicion and hatred.  We have enough of that.  We need to understand that just because two immigrants did something bad, there are millions more that have not and never will.

Because, as the Ghandi quote as is currently circulating goes – “You must not lose faith in humanity.  Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

Let’s try to remember that we are that ocean.  Don’t assume that all of it is dirty just because of a few specks of dirt.  (And it’s also worth taking the metaphor even further to point out that there will always be dirt in the ocean; it’s best to build up an immunity and work to clean it than to just wipe it out and suffer the consequences of a wide-sweeping action that we don’t understand the full import of…)