Friday, October 3, 2008

dad, it's just a stereo ... laptop ... washer ... external hard drive ... itunes collection ...

in no particular order:
laptop wouldn't do much; too much music on it; bought external hard drive
external hard drive starts well but then crashes, wakes back up, then won't talk to laptop, then just goes dark
my gigantic itunes collection, with album artwork and multiple kinds of data i've added so it'll be pefect, is also crashed b/c it's in the external hard drive
laptop then won't turn on. nobody has any suggestions
the truck cd player quits completely, as opposed to working half the time. i try to take out and install, and blow fuses and make it worse. i take it to the shop and they install one - and it won't eject a cd when i'm done with it. i feel my brain start to work its way into my neck and shoulders
the clothes washer at our house makes horrible noises when it spins, and then won't drain.

three thoughts:

1. in each case, i've attempted to fix the problem myself to save money and time. i do not have expertise in repairing any of these machines/systems. sometimes it works - the laptop problem was just a little strip where the power button is, and i just pushed it back in place - and sometimes it doesn't - in taking out the truck stereo i think i made everything worse; i took the control panel off the washer yesterday and had no clue.
lesson? be cautious before ripping out wires, and don't be afraid to ask for help.

2. i got mad at god a number of times in the last 2 weeks while all these appliances were falling apart. Why are you doing this to me? What do you want? Why do you hate me? What are you trying to teach me? What, am i not a good person, that you have to punish me like this? ... that sort of thing.
then, in each case, when i would stop being so absolutely pissed off (because i was afraid - get it?), i would settle down, and breathe, and realize it's not god doing this. shit just breaks. that's just how it is. machines don't work forever, and sometimes they don't work from the beginning. my truck is 7 years old; its cd player had been rode hard and put up wet. worn out.
god doesn't do this stuff to us - in fact, it's not being done to us at all. it's not personal. your washer doesn't give a damn about whom it's serving, and when it's washed your socks and jeans and towels about ten million times and its belt is worn out, it just stops.

3. this is, however, a great opportunity to learn about myself. (that's why it feels like god doing it TO me, when i believe instead that god is in it WITH me.) pay attention. why am i so freaked out? what's triggering this? why, when i tell my daughter in consternation that this particular appliance has stopped working, does she say to me, as if i'm a moron, "dad, it's only a --" and fill in the blank.
but she's right. it's only a bunch of songs on itunes. you've got them all on cd. you can just load them while you watch " heroes." it's only a laptop. okay, so you have to have it serviced? is the problem that you don't want to invest the time or the money? well, that's part of owning and using machines. sorry.
why is that upsetting you? are you worried about money? time? being smart? having it all together? are you running behind in a relationship, or at work, or on your life plan, and there's no room to spare?

btw - laptop's fine today.
i'm gonna take the external hard drive back to the store and ask them what we should do about it.
i'm going to rebuild my itunes - by putting about 1/3 as much music in as i did before. like clothes - "have i worn that in a year? why is it taking up room in my closet???"
got the truck cd player installed. it sounds great. it ejected cds just fine this morning.
the washer repairman gets here between 11 and 1. until then, i think i'll work on my talks for sunday morning.


nonprofitprophet said...

oh man, i am sooooo laughing pissed with you. my life as well. Air conditioner played out so total replacement ($$$OUCH), 4 year old front load Kenmore washer totally bombed - 3 trips by repair man to fix it. Lets see, home computer is screwing up and something on the vehicle is wrong, and oh yeah, the microwave quit working... all in the past 3 weeks. I am going to blame the Democrats and the Republicans and the Bush administration - hell, everyone else is.... lol ~npp

David said...

Does it strike you as, well, strangely funny that just when we are all talking about struggling to let go of the things to which we are attached--your example was a machine that you use to carry yourself and stuff long distances--all sorts of other things (especially machines) begin to abandon you?

The same sort of things seem to happen to me. Whenever I say "no, not now" to the same sort of problems you are experiencing, I get terribly frustrated. When I take the attitude you have about your truck, and I don't expect everything to go perfectly (when I stop thinking that I don't deserve hassles), I am much more at peace and closer to who I want to be.

Rick Diamond said...

it IS funny - our relationship with machines that support us, and then to which we can become enslaved, or at least very dependent. we buy them ... trade days and hours and weeks of our lives for them ... and then when they break - what then? more days and hours and weeks needed to either fix them or maintain them. it's a tradeoff, obviously.
what's occurring to me is that it's healthy to know i can choose to participate in a way that's healthy for me, i.e., about freedom, or to be enslaved not only if the machines break but also if the machines are working just fine ...
and, yeah, npp - somebody's got to be responsible! let's blame somebody! damn! it ain't me!

Chiron' said...


I'm not going to make anyone's day with this, in fact, I'd likely be better off just shutting my mouth and not saying a thing about it.

There is only one problem with that idea.

I can't.

So here it is. Yes it IS personal.
Yes it is happening to you for a reason. Yes your little servants are communicating to you. You have suggested that they are disposable, and they are REACTING to that.

Ok, I can see that this is going to require a bit more of a detailed explanation.

When mankind fabricates something, we are creating. As we create something, we put our energy into it. Even if we didn't actually create something that belongs to us, we tend to love on the things which bring us pleasure. The act of giving love to these little machines is the act of giving them a tiny piece of yourself. They wind up being an EXTENSION of ourself. (which is why we take it personally when they start to act up) Yes, I'm talking about the "Ghost in the machine". The Native Americans call it a Manitou. Sometimes, yes, machines just fail. But sometimes, (much more often than you might imagine) it is the LOVE a machine has for YOU that keeps it going when it should have long since "given up the ghost".

The answer? Be nice to your little servants. Love them as they love you. Show them respect. Care for them. When it is time to retire them, bring the replacement next to them and ask them if they want a new body.

It's ALL about love. It's as deep as you are willing to look.


Anonymous said...

I don't have a comment about your post - just thought I'd let you know that Noamie's oldest son died this week. She's having a tough time - please keep her in your prayers.

A tough time. Sheesh! What kind of understatement is THAT? I mean, her son died! I can't even imagine...

Rick Diamond said...

chiron - yes, you're right. it's not personal in the sense of victimhood. it's personal in that it is the world in which i live and the world which i create. aho.

got the message already. bummed. will check on noamie. thanks for the update!
and, no, you're right. sheesh.