helping other people is not as easy as it seems. every time i try, i give the devil more momentum! for example, before thanksgiving my sister called me with her woes, certainly genuine. so i send her a computer, screen, mouse, etc., etc., not realizing i'd overwhelm this 57 year old neophyte with a whole new vocabulary and way of being. add to this the ineffeciency of a particular phone company (can you guess which?), she's still not online. and my sister not the most patient person in the world.
or yesterday, i posted my blog on a photo site to advertise my friend's photos and got slapped on the hand for advertising myself in the process. boy, i still turn red with embarrassment thinking about it. and what else was there? oh, yes, two friends, a couple, came to town. we discussed our inhibitions and ambitions over coffee. ach, my big mouth, i said too much, being well-meaning and set them on edge with each other. i haven't heard back yet. did it lead to a fight between them, harsh words, a deadly break? of course not, yet i regret giving advice.
yes, i'm not exactly sure when it began, maybe when i turned forty and thought i knew everything. suddenly, i acted like a sage (as in sagebrush). that's the trouble with knowing younger people. my attempts at solving a problem she didn't ask me to solve, a friend in vancouver b.c. eventually walked off the end of a pier. this happened much later after the last time we talked, as did my friend renate's suicide in berlin, but i can't help wondering, did my helping hurt?
anyway, to make a long story short, i learned an important lesson this last week. you can't make someone over into you. your only recourse is to tweak them on their own terms. i'd hoped my sister would begin to write, blog, put songs on youtube. now i understand she'll pretty much go on living the same way, no matter what i offer. (a vacuum cleaner, electric brushes, knives, and scissors - a shopping cart, paying the electric bill, pushing her to apply for disability, which she has.)
put a person in new circumstances and perhaps they'll blossom. do so at your peril. HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS.
let me contradict myself. just posted my notes on zen theater: www.pbase.com/wwp/laugh take them with more than a grain of thought!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!