May 30, 2008

All in the Head

The other day some people in my office were having a discussion, a small debate. I really didn’t care about the content of the discussion, but the tone in which one of the individuals spoke bothered me to no end. It’s gone around and around in my head to two days and has definitely colored my opinion of this person, even though they’ve never done anything to me and I’d never seem them do anything bad to anyone else. It was just the tone, and what it conveyed, such a strong opinion as clear as though the words were spoken even though they dare not be.

I have written diatribes in my mind about it, both in righteous indignation and friendly advice. I’m not going to write either version here. Instead, I’m thinking about why it bothers me so much, why I feel compelled to go on and on about it, even if only in my own head. Maybe if I had the guts to say something constructive…but I fear I have neither the courage nor the wisdom for that. So instead I just let it bug me and compose essays on the chalkboard of my brain. A good lesson in letting go, that.

So, I’m not even going to write about it, not really, not what I’ve been wanting to say for two days. That would be giving it power, giving it physical form, the very opposite of letting go. Instead, I’m going to mention that it was a good week.

My boss likes my work and so do I. I’m making good progress and learning all sorts of things. Did you know that even though gas prices quadrupled in the 70’s, people didn’t drive any less. Everyone blames the energy crises on the oil embargo, but years before there was an electricity shortage due to the proliferation of air conditioning. They could build and install air conditioners faster than they could build power plants and faster than they could dig the coal out of the ground. The Atomic Energy Agency actually stopped uranium enrichment in 1970 because the enrichment plants used coal and the power plants were running out. Crazy.

The BBC came to our office this week and did some filling as part of a bit about RMI. They filmed our carpet and our skylights and our waterless urinal. They were flying up to Snowmass the next day to interview the big chief. I wonder if the British like American accents as much as we like British accents?

I think that’s a much more useful thing to spend two days pondering, all things considering.


greenfrog said...

I recently read a book (The Untethered Soul), where the author made the point that really, very, very few things we experience in life ever rise to the level of conscious awareness. Most flit by like clouds in the sky or cars on the freeway, and we lend them only the barest of notice. But then a few things get a lot of our attention. He suggested that the difference between the ones that arise and subside almost immediately and the ones that arise and grow and burgeon and sustain themselves for long periods of time, that the difference between those events is entirely in our heads, and that often enough, when we find ourselves wrapped around an axel about someone or something, we have a chance to discover something about our own minds.

Your post suggests that he may be on to something, and you may have already figured out what I had to read in a book to see.


TK said...

I remind myself that agitation is a disease. That's usually enough to save me from turning into a velcro.

Monica said...

That's a good metaphore - velcro. I am so velcro about so much so often. Heh.