All this time I've been going about it the wrong way: changing my outward circumstances instead of finding peace and safety within myself.
Our neighbours are in their early 20’s. I am guessing this is the first time they have ever lived by themselves. What an exciting time in their lives! Their schedule is the exact opposite of ours. We work during the day and sleep during the night. They sleep during the day and party during the night and into the wee hours of the morning.
We’ve taken many steps to address our ongoing concern with the noise level they generate: different earplugs, a white noise app, sleeping on the couch, asking them to turn the music down, filing complaints with the building management, calling building security and finally as a last resort, calling the cops.
Still, the music, the partying and the skateboarding in the hall persist. This has been going on for months.
Last night, at 10 pm, after we heard them knock on our door and run away laughing, I took a deep breath and decided to go next door to see if we could reach a friendly conclusion to our differences. After all, if I can’t do everything in my power to be a good neighbour, how can I expect our community, our country and our planet to do so?
As soon as I knocked on their door, a hush fell over the crowd. I stood there, for several minutes, facing a closed door and summoned all of my Zen-power capability to say: “Hey guys, it’s your neighbour. I heard you knock on my door so I’m assuming you want to talk. I’m not here to argue. I am honesty hoping we can come to a friendly resolution.”
I waited for a reply. No answer. Not a peep. All is quiet.
“Well, good night then.”
When I returned home my husband and I talked about our options. Call the cops again? File another complaint with the building management? Move?
It was then I realized that moving is not the answer. There is no safety. In the last 3 years, I moved from the Big Island of Hawaii to Maui hoping that there, there would be no active volcanoes and earthquakes. On Maui, we moved to Salt Lake City because we experienced a hurricane and were evacuated on account of a wildfire. In Salt Lake City, we recently experienced more earthquakes and an ongoing pandemic.
If moving around, “chasing safety” is not the answer, then what is? The thought of a turtle comes to mind. Not a bad idea to carry your home around on your back. No, I don’t want to live like a gypsy. But the idea that “safety” is accessible, and with us all the time is something that appeals to me. All this time I've been going about it the wrong way: changing my outward circumstances instead of finding peace and safety within myself.
Here’s something that gives me a sense of safety – a “home” I can carry around with me: No matter where I am, and what’s happening in the world, I paint.
This blog was created to share my belief that the art-making process is a catalyst for transformation and personal empowerment. I am living proof.