Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ant Massacre

About a week ago, shortly after the whirlwind of change and move… I was beginning to really take in the new place. Discovering little nooks and details that I'd missed before. Each the house, housemates and even cats began to reveal their self. 

I also began to realize small things that I took for granted in a more modern home. For example, having to actually turn to lock/unlock a door. For those of you that live or have lived in an older home- I know you know what I mean. 

I examined the bookshelf in the downstairs area, noticing many little gems. Most of what filled the shelves were gardening and home renovation books. Among the rest- a physics text, A Poor Man's James Bond (a survival guide explaining things such as how to fight hand-to-hand combat, set up booby traps, build automatic rifles simply with items from your own home! yikes!!, and so on..).. and of course, the one that caught my eye... The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Buddhist Wisdom

I took this up to my room and have been leafing through it. I couldn't help but skip through the introduction and go straight to the section I was interested in most... Dealing with anger. 

In recent events, I already knew I was wrong to have acted out the way I did.. I wanted to know how I could have better handled myself. 

Why is it so easy to hurt the ones you love (do you agree with this?)? I know how it might be easy. These people know everything about us- they know exactly what things to say that can cut us deepest. But why is much more complicated. Why do these people take advantage of our love(vulnerability)?

Besides the possibility of losing your job, or in other cases a friend.. Why are we more likely to hold our tongue with mere acquaintances? Why is there no boundary with the ones you love- your family? Is it because of unconditional love that it makes it safer to say hurtful things without restraint, knowing that they will love us no matter what? Or so we expect.

Back to things in the new home front- 
To say the kitchen floor needs a good scrub down is totally incorrect... More accurately would be that the kitchen needs completely new floors. Also, a week after I'd already moved into the house, one morning as I went downstairs to the kitchen to have breakfast, I noticed a marching trail of ants on the wall. They were making their way to the compost pail on the counter. This was my first meet with the colony. 

My memory flashed back to the tour I had of the house, upstairs in the room I am now in. As I took note of the thin-paned window, I asked Gabby (the roommate who gave me the tour) if there was anything that I needed to know about the house.. cold winters, the other housemates, etc.. Her answer was no. 

I know the insulation probably wasn't the first thing that would have come to her mind, nor was she likely to rat out any problem roomies... but this ant problem should have been an important detail to have mentioned.

The other night as I was laying in bed I felt something on my face and swiping it away, thinking that it was a strand of hair- it was an ant! 

Today when I had come home, as I walked into my room, the first thing I noticed was the bowl of milk from the cereal I had earlier. A few ants were crawling around the brim- one had unfortunately went too far down the side of the bowl and drowned. Also, the surface of my dark wooden desk looked as if it were slightly moving.

At this point, I couldn't even keep my hair down without feeling like it was another ant. So finally I'd had enough and totally went to town on these ants. 

In today's casualties, there were no survivors left behind. It wasn't in my intention to leave any suffering victims- crushed bodies with only antennas moving (though this did happen). I made sure to crush them to death in one instance. Virtually as pain free as I thought I could make it for them...

After feeling quite savage from crushing them with a quick crush, delivered by the weight of my finger (by this time I'd given up on the post it I picked up, put down, picked up, put down... not stopping to reason that there were probably a bazillion more in the cracks of somewhere. Instead I rationalized to myself since there were no oozing guts, that it wasn't that gross to crush them with my bare fingers)- 

I googled "killing ants in your home buddhism" and got back a few good articles on how to deal with your insect problem 1 & 2 without resorting to raid/killing. 

I'm trying this whole buddhism thing out and it's been a challenge to extend these practices in all areas in my life! I mean… should you draw the line somewhere? 

In my opinion, I don't think there is a line. I know that your house shouldn't be infested with ants in the first place, it's just kinda gross... But I know that it doesn't give me any right to kill, even if it is in this case- ants. 

Witch-craftingly I've chalked a line for the crack underneath the door frame as well as the window. I'd begun to spray vinegar everywhere. My next mission is to clean the whole place with lemons. 

I'll keep you posted... 

In the meanwhile, what are your thoughts on this predicament? I'd appreciate any advice.. that is advice along the way of enlightenment ;)

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