Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Managing Perceptions

1. When I was girl, I loved Coke. Coke in a green bottle, which I called Cocola. Then one day my dad told me it was brown sugar water. That if I put a tooth in it overnight, the tooth would dissolve by morning. I never liked Coke again. I imagined I could taste my tooth decaying.

2. I grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. When I was child there, Charlottesville was a sleepy nowhere town. People complained of the heat and the ticks. Now Charlottesville is THE place to live. Every time I go back to visit, a new glitzy shop or hotel or business is going in.

3. The other night I read a story about about a Pakistani woman who was all set to marry the man of her dreams. Then the guy heard a rumor that she had kissed another man when she was twelve. So he decided she was no longer the woman he thought she was. One kiss had changed her in his eyes forever.

4. The US agricultural dept. is afraid to allow Creekstone Premium Beef to test all its cows for Mad Cow Disease. It doesn't want any beef company to be able to claim its beef is safer than other meat. Then American might begin to question the safety of their burgers. After all, Americans now believe Mad Cow Disease only takes place in England and Canada.

5. My daughter's best friend used to have a sound machine. She couldn't sleep without the sound of the ocean. Then one night Suzanne spent the night. Why do you listen to static all night long? Suzanne asked. After that the friend's mom told me her daughter couldn't sleep for a week. The waves were no longer waves.

6. Sometimes I go to the bookstore and read the best sellers. I read the books that other people say are good reads. I don't necessarily like them. But the word, "best," promises me something. And I can almost imagine I am getting it, even if I am not. I have this feeling that's a metaphor for my life.

7. My sister gave me this CD that is supposed to help you calm down, love the world, be at peace. It makes little rain and binging noises. The directions warn that it won't work if you fall asleep. The minute I put it on, I fall sound asleep. I use it as a sedative. It's audio-Sominex.

8. A few years ago, I told a friend I didn't know how to kiss. I never felt sure what to do with the tongue. She gave me this book with deep kissing exercises. One of them was to pass a piece of candy--or some kind of sweet- from mouth to mouth. Ever since then I've kept my lips sealed tight. I don't want anything to do with kisses like that. Makes me think of left overs burped up.

9. When Bush was first elected, I remember thinking he might not be as bad as I feared. I had a friend who convinced me he'd be okay because he hired Rumsfeld.

10. I have this book by Pema Chodron called ALWAYS HAVE A JOYFUL MIND. The title reminds me of this story about the Harri Krishnas. They had this devotee who was always blissed out. They thought he was almost enlightened. Turned out he had a brain tumor that was turning him into a human cabbage.

11. I used to think of Zen as peaceful. Now I think of white noise and sandalwood incense, which makes me sneeze.


Erin O'Brien said...

Love this. When are #s 8-15 coming?

dixiedreams said...

i can't sleep without my "wave" machine on. that's from steve's song --"got this machine and it plays the ocean." if i don't have it, i have to play static or a fan. in fact, i've got a fan on right now. it calms me.

J. Newberry said...

I sleep with a fan on, myself--I always have.

I might do a list like this over at my blog.

jessica said...

I have a book by Pema called "The Places that Scare You". Sometimes it helps. And once, I saw the Dali Lama at the mall in Bloomington, Indiana. I was working for the paper and took a picture of him. He was drinking a coke out of a straw.

And your post has really inspired me to make my own list. So thanks!

Talia said...

That's an urban legend about the coke and the tooth and all of that...I think you can look it up on snopes.

Anne-Marie said...

I laughed and laughed at the Hari Krishna cabbage!