Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Prayer as subversion

“I can’t stand you.  I’ll say this every day. Asshole”

Those were the words with which my neighbour greeted me as I returned home this afternoon.  (We share a driveway, and our car-ports are “cheek by jowl” with no dividing wall.)

I said nothing.  This neighbour has orally harassed me on a frequent basis during the years since I have lived here.  She’s done the same to many other neighbours.

It’s not that I am perfect. But I am not an asshole.

I tried “killing her with kindness”, especially when her mother died.  But I suppose that she could not “hear” this kindness.

On one occasion I yelled at her (and called her a stupid woman) - it was when she alleged that my indoor cat had pooped on her driveway. I immediately wrote and mailed her a letter, in which I apologised for my intemperate words.

My best strategy has been to ignore her; and to refuse to rise to her baits.

So I ignored her this afternoon.

I began to think that her words: “I can’t stand you.  I’ll say this every day. Asshole” may have more to do with how she thinks about herself, than with how she estimates me.

Nonetheless her words “bothered me” - at the same low level of botheration as a mosquito bite.

As I thought about them I opted for some subversive action.  I will pray for her every day.

2 comments:

  1. Just tell her you "worship the ground that's comming to her"

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  2. I have read about this woman on your blog many times, and she it seems really likely that she's mentally ill. Of course you're not an asshole. Her brain is sick. Try not to take her at all seriously. I agree that your "best strategy [is] to ignore her; and to refuse to rise to her baits."

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