• Dana Webster

Throw Me A Frickin' Bone

Updated: Jun 20

(Rant warning)


To paraphrase Mike Myers' Dr. Evil:


Life, throw me a frickin' bone here.


I don't know about you but, man, I could use a break. Just what the hey is going on in the world these days? Is it me or are the bad guys actually winning? Have we truly devolved into a me, me, me world? I'm gonna need some solid evidence to the contrary because all I see now is Ego - that part of us that is all about me and, by default, not about you.


I was kind of doing okay with the pandemic and all. I was starting to feel, like the rest of you I'm sure, a little more expansive, a little more hopeful about life's choices opening up again. And then we were slammed with the news of the burial sites of 215 Indigenous children. A week later, some misguided miscreant mowed down five members of a beautiful, loving family.


And I lost it. My faith in the inherent goodness of people has been very sorely tested and, I'm afraid, I'm having a terrible time crawling my way out of it. The psychic, emotional weight of one atrocious thing after another has become too much. For those of us who go through life just wanting to get along, just wanting to be shown a little kindness and to reciprocate, we are suffering mightily.


The concept of personal responsibility has flown the coop. People are doing and saying anything they want these days with the belief that consequences should be borne by those around them:


  • Don't like that I am doing 100 in a 40 zone? Pull over or be run over.

  • Don't like that my dogs bark at the crack of dawn every morning? Close your windows.

  • Don't like the sound of my motorcycle and/or tuner car going up and down your road all weekend long? Move.

  • Don't like that I shoot guns in a residential neighbourhood? Move.

  • Don't like the blinding illumination of my security lights shining directly into your bedroom at night? Get heavier curtains.

  • Don't like the sound of my party going into the wee hours of the morning? Get ear plugs.

And that's just up here in the Hockley Valley.


So much for We're all in this together. Nope. The message has morphed into I can do whatever I want; you are on your own.


Too cynical? My apologies. And, please, I'm begging you, convince me that my experience of life right now is not this. I am wide open to being proved wrong.


Paul and I recently had a very unpleasant altercation with our neighbours who allow their dogs to bark incessantly whenever they are outside. Choice words were thrown back and forth over the fence as, once again, we were woken at the crack of dawn. When she phoned the OPP (yes, this actually happened), to complain about us (again, yes, this actually happened), she told the officer that she leaves her dogs out overnight to protect their livestock (some chickens and a rooster, I believe, and possibly a pig) from coyotes. As though that were all the reason needed to put their neighbours through hell every single day and night of the week for five years.


As though the consequences of their life choices were to be borne by us. I'm supposed to care about the safety of their poultry? (They're just going to kill them anyway, aren't they? Why shouldn't a coyote make a meal of them?) I'm supposed to close my windows, purchase a white noise machine, and otherwise discomfit my own quiet, not-bothering-anyone-else life because you have chickens?? And, besides, real farmers build fences, and coops and safely install their livestock in them at night (not to mention the myriad other ways to deter coyotes and other predators; no need to reinvent the wheel here). And what about your poor dogs? Pretty sure coyotes are famous for luring and killing domestic dogs. Google it.


Okay, I'm running out of steam. Perpetual anger and fear is exhausting. You feel me? I try hard to avoid filling your inbox with negativity but maybe you are feeling similarly? Does it help to know that you are not alone? I know I take comfort in it.


I also know that I am strong enough to overcome this. Eventually. I write about it. I make appointments to confer with my wise and compassionate support circle of friends and professionals (happy to offer recommendations!). I thank goodness for the good people I do have in my life, those who are thoughtful, caring, and, like me, strive to see the big picture and not get bogged down in the self-absorbed minutiae of survival mode in which people operate from a place of trauma and wounding.


Going to leave you with this:


A Ritual to Read to Each Other

BY WILLIAM E. STAFFORD


If you don't know the kind of person I am and I don't know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star. For there is many a small betrayal in the mind, a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood storming out to play through the broken dike. And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail, but if one wanders the circus won't find the park, I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty to know what occurs but not recognize the fact. And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy, a remote important region in all who talk: though we could fool each other, we should consider— lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark. For it is important that awake people be awake, or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep; the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe — should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.




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