Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bugging Me is Easy

What gives the little brown flying insect, the size of a pin and a non-biter, the power to annoy the snot out of me? I've been trying to figure it out as I make my way eastward on my 7th cross-country trip for HEAR US, my unconventional nonprofit organization that gives voice and visibility to homeless kids.

This little varmint appeared the other day, I think the product of a grungy Indiana truck stop. For one thing it reminds me of floaters, that phenomenon that makes if appear that a bug is flying around your head. I'm not imagining it. I've seen this teensy bugger close up, and even took a few good swings at it, but it laughed as it scooted away. 

Yeah, since it's been with me all week, I've decided, Buddhist style, to see what opportunity it brings. Little bug. Big possibilities for self discovery! I won't go into all the personal junk. But suffice to say I could fill a few gigabytes with revelations about my, um, faults.

One fascinating aspect about this pinhead-sized visitor that made me shake my head at myself was how I almost got caught up in swatting it--OK, killing it--as it flitted by the windshield as I was driving. Picture the wreck (hopefully no injuries) and me crawling out to talk to the police officer. I, uh, was trying to kill this non-lethal bug  this * big. 

I admit, I let little things annoy me. I can lose sight of the big picture by getting distracted by something really stupid, aptly represented by this tiny creature.

Then we have the glaring issue of violence--how I gleefully would KILL this harmless little insect. It probably eats poisonous spiders or vampires or something. I want to kill it because it doesn't belong in, um, pristine Tillie??? Uh oh. Not a balanced approach to life.

Now I can take a swing at the things that annoy me in life. I'll spend energy on the more significant, like getting HUD to change their policies that threaten to cause homelessness for vulnerable families guilty of nothing more than being mired in poverty.

All of that from this little bug that continues to float imperviously around, knowing that I'm a lousy shot when it comes to killing something I've become fond of over this past week.

It's the little lessons that teach me the most. Wonder what my homework will be?