Thursday, October 29, 2009

arrows

Today was a bad day. Some days are. It was one of those days where everything's a second guess and you're too tired to be of use to anyone or anything. I know what my problem was: the goddamned arrows.

See, there's this old Buddhist story about a guy who gets shot with an arrow and starts bleeding to death. Someone walks up to him and offers to take the arrow out, but instead of accepting the help, he starts firing off all these inane questions. Who shot the arrow? Why did they shoot it? Where did they shoot it from? He's there bleeding, in awful pain as he continues on. Where did the person run off to? How deep is the puncture? How much longer until they catch him and bring him to me so I can shoot back? He's angry, distracted, useless—a volunteer to be a victim. And the whole time he's running his mouth someone is standing in front of him willing to just take it out. No questions asked. Just remove it. Heal. Move on down that dusty road, son.

Whatever feels like such a big deal won't for long. Your bills will get paid. Your car will get fixed. Your friends will forgive you. You'll learn from what you can't change. You lick your wounds, count your losses, and suck it up.

Today was a crappy day because I wanted answers for all my arrows—arrows coming from every direction. It made me a wreck all day. You want to know what's pointless on a small farm? Arrow wounds. One of the great therapies of homesteading is everyone else is a bigger deal than your own selfish thoughts. So I had a bad day? So what? You think the geese care? I came home to greater needs than my ego and it felt better to be humbled by it. I fell into my writing schedule, my animals, a walk with the dogs and a long phone call from an old friend. I still got prongs in my back but I'm learning to ignore them. It's not a clean break but I'll take what I can get.

The moral of the story is leave the arrows in and you'll suffer, possibly even die. You lose out when the whole time the remedy was right in front of your face. I don't ever want to forget my focus like that. I want to let the arrows go. I've got a long way before I figure myself out but at least the farm knocks some sense into me when I'm treading water.

I'll be okay. I have dogs and a banjo. It's the people without such resources I worry about.

24 Comments:

Blogger ammamcp said...

Great post. You're young to be so wise...

October 29, 2009 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Dawn Dutton said...

Keep plugging along.......

October 29, 2009 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

Are you sure not really a 75 year old woman posing as a 20 something? Such wisdom from a young person with an old soul. It's not only a blessing but nourishment for others. Tonight I feel refreshed and encouraged. Thank you for sharing.

October 29, 2009 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Tomorrow will be a better day. I promise!

October 29, 2009 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Vickie's Michigan Garden (my backyard) said...

Jenna,
It's funny how the little things bother us- that's what they are the little things.
vickie

October 29, 2009 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

And don't foget you have us!

October 29, 2009 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Eleanor said...

Jenna, thank you for your honesty. We all have arrow days, and we too seldom speak of them.

October 29, 2009 at 10:09 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Jenna, I just found your blog a few days ago and I read it from the beginning to the end. I now find myself looking at the clock, waiting for your next post. OK, its 1:30 here...she's just getting off work. OK, it's now 3pm, she's out taking care of the animals or fixing herself dinner. You have caught me up in your tenacity, courage, and hope. You give me hope. That someday I'll get off my lazy ass and do what needs to be done. Sorry you had a bad day, I hope tomorrow and each day beyond is much, much better.

October 29, 2009 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger lasharb said...

amen sister to that sister ...

October 29, 2009 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger Aydan said...

Having two exams next week, this reminder was welcome! I hope tomorrow's better for you.

October 29, 2009 at 11:02 PM  
Blogger blissbelly said...

Funny...my day was similar. I wrote about it a little differently, yet there's something about staying present and conscious and watching yourself go through it that's similar. I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now...really enjoy checking into the happenings at CAF.

October 29, 2009 at 11:36 PM  
Blogger buildasnowman said...

I had one of those days too! In fact, as I read your words my nose was swollen shut from crying about things I don't understand and I can't change. I'm having a hard time letting go of these arrows, so your words really hit home. Thanks for that.

October 30, 2009 at 12:10 AM  
Blogger Toby said...

Craptastic days have a way of defining themselves in poetic ways. The joy of language. The last thing I wanted to do tonight was break down the three turkeys I butchered on monday but can't waste their lives because I'm tired.

October 30, 2009 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger P said...

I thought you were going to write about the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune....

It's not you; it's just your turn. Everybody has days like this. It always helps me to remember the real blessings I have and the stuff that did go right instead of the stuff that went wrong.

So- snap out of it! Halloween is the day after tomorrow!!

October 30, 2009 at 1:09 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

Jenna, we all have those days....and I know you don't want to hear it :) I feel sorry for those who can't snap out of it as fast as you or I (or most people)can. The sun is coming out tomorrow for Halloween; think of the fun....

October 30, 2009 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Nothing cures a bad day like a good dog. :)

October 30, 2009 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I needed this today...

October 30, 2009 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Kristin Marsh said...

Beautiful. I am so grateful for this blog--for the passion you invest in your life and your willingness to share it here. The healing extends outward and touches my own life.

October 30, 2009 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Conny said...

Spot on! If not for your post I may not ever have learned of the Buddhist/arrow story. I will keep this in mind on bad days and share it where necessary. Thanks again.

October 30, 2009 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

Been there, done that. Even felt like the T-shirt probably wouldn't fit anyway. Took a deep breath, counted my blessings and carried on anyway. It always gets better as long as you carry on.

October 30, 2009 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger twistie said...

Isn't it awesome to be humbled by your daily passion?

nothing cures a bad day like a ride atop your trusty steed also.

Real horse power!

October 30, 2009 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger julochka said...

sometimes you stumble across a post at the exact moment when you really need it. this was that post for me today. thank you.

November 2, 2009 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Kittie Howard said...

Even tho I know about the arrows, I was on the verge of having one of those days--until I read your blog. Thanks! However, I don't think you have an old soul or sound like you're 75 -- you come across as someone's in tune with herself and nature and have a couple of certificates from life's School of Hard Knocks to understand beyond the superficial.

November 2, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

And all she could say was "Wow".

November 23, 2009 at 9:58 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home