You’re Bad

detail of pigment on wool flannel

Last night during dinner with a very good friend

As I listened to another installment of the recurring drama of her relationship with a particular man

I heard these words come out of my mouth:

“It’s not him. It’s you.”

This morning, I looked around my house and did not see a diploma for a Phd. in psychology…

It felt harsh, the thing I said.

Another friend of mine has dished out that golden bit of wisdom to me

A number of times

But she just says the beginning of the phrase; “It isn’t him/her.”

She has said it enough to me over time that all I now need is just that lead

To know that my anger, frustration, horror, whatever..

Is generated by MY REACTION TO A THING

And NOT the thing itself…

I thought about this with the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death.

There was a hollow feeling.

We, as a country, have used up so very many years hating the bad guy.

It has become a national form of entertainment to hate the bad guy.

But when the bad guy is gone..

We’ve still got ourselves.

And has anything really shifted?

I am looking at all this for myself, this morning.

Where am I attempting to ease the road for myself

By making something/someone else wrong?

My health challenges…?

No men in Santa Fe…? (this is a favorite here..)

Not enough money..?

My mother..?

What IS bad is the anxiety I create

Waiting for the things I feel are bad

To get good, somehow.

And the only thing I know to do


And concentrate, instead on making change within.

Do you think this ‘pollyanna-ish’?

All I have control over

Is my very own inner violence.

Very seductive to think otherwise.

But it waits in cobwebby corners

Ready to spring

With the slightest whisper

Of the next disappointment

Or narrowing of my brow.

Effect change at home…

Easier to access a sense of accomplishment

And save the world

From the din of the frantic smoke screens

We seem to throw this way and that.


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