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September 18 – I can nurture or disturb my machines. The Present Moment.

October 10, 2009

As Penney talks in this essay about machines, I am struck by my own relationship with them.  Cars especially.  The car I drove for 10 years was truly on its last leg when I finally traded it.  But I swear to this day, it lasted as long as it did because I loved it so much.

The car I bought after it had a LOT of issues for the first 3 – 4 years I drove it.  I just didn’t love it like I loved the previous one.  When I finally fell in love with it, the problems, for the most part, stopped.  Then when I paid it off last Fall, I made a deal with it:  give me one more year and then you can break down all you want to.  It gave me a year almost to the month, and then the transmission started to go.  I traded cars.

My new one, I just got two weeks ago, is unlike anything I’ve had for almost 20 years.  It’s bright red rather than a muted color.  It has 4 doors rather than two.  Everyone who’s seen it says, “Yep, that car looks like you.”  But most importantly, I fell in love with it immediately.  When I left the lot with it to take it home, we bonded, the car and I.  I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true.  I don’t believe I will have issues with this car.

Another example is my dryer.  When my ex and I were at the pinnacle of our domestic issues, it stopped working.  Clothes would be put in it, and when it stopped, they’d still be wet.  When we moved from the apartment to the house, we used his new dryer and washer.  Mine sat in the garage waiting.  When I finally got smart and left the situation, I took my washer and dryer with me.  Once they were connected in the new apartment, I tried the dryer out.  It works fine.  It seems it wasn’t very happy with my domestic difficulties.  But, once I removed both of us from it, we both started working much better.

There is also a set of elevators in the building that I work in that love me.  I’m not sure why, but they do.  If I lean against one of them, and ask sweetly, 9 times out of 10, one or the other will come get me before the other three.  I always set inside and say “Thank you for coming to get me.”  I stroke the wall that has the controls on it as I say it, and I swear the elevator “smiles.”

That’s just a few examples of my experience with machines.  I could list several more, but the common thread in these examples is when I nurture those machines, they nurture me.  When I don’t, they break down.  Think about your own experiences with machines.  I’ll bet you’ll find some connections between how you treat them, and how they treat you.

- Catherine

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