It was a sunny Autumn Morning. I had just taught an early morning yoga class and was walking in the sun kinda sun drunk. I spotted a shop owing friend on the other side of the street getting into her van. I waved while calling out, ”You got time for a coffee?”
I saw her nod and clamber out of her van and walk to the pavement as I crossed the road to join her. In the mean time a blond woman with a Labra-doodley dog started talking to her.
I waited for them to finish their conversation with my face turned towards the sun and got even more sun drunk. Finally they separated and the blond woman with the lively Labra-doodley dog turned to me and said, “She’s a complete control freak.” I presumed she was taking the mickey and replied, “I’ll have to speak severely to her about that.” Then she said, “No, really she’s a control freak.” My sun drunk reply was. “And you know that’s one of her best traits.”
I turned and my friend was staring at me with a massive grin and said, “You know she really thought I was a control freak.”
“I thought you knew her.” I said
“No.” She explained, “ Her dog was peeing in all the shop front doorways and I asked her not to let her dog do that.”
“So, she was just a random dog owner.” I said.
“Yeah, but the strange thing was, after I’d asked her to stop her dog, she followed me across the road and let her dog pee on the wheel of my van, then when you saw her she was trying to tick me off about my control freakiness.”
“My my what an unhappy camper then?”
We walked into the coffee shop garden chortling and generally having a jolly good time.
I thought about this and decided this was a Zen moment, where the disarming inadvertent intersession of humour made the adversary impotent. I was not attached to being right, I only saw a friend where others might see an enemy and treated her to a little, on my part, at least, good natured banter. The marshall Art Masters in Aikido suggest that you don’t fight an attacker you take their attack as an invitation to dance. This is perhaps the first inclination I have had as to how this actually feels.
As soon as we see someone as an attacker we defend and their weapons get discharged and you and they are wounded. In the Blond lady and the Labra-doodley dog incident, the most damage was to my mascara as I wept with laughter and the Blond lady with Labra-doodley dog was left bemused but undamaged.
I have an Irish temper and attempt to not let fly with snaky comments but my attachment to my own opinions and my illusion of separateness from others can sometimes get away from me, but now, maybe just maybe, I have an idea of what it might feel to be at one with the world. Good heavens the spiritual pundits were right, happiness, begets happiness, begets wholeness. So watch this space and on any day turn your face to the light.