Liz Wolfe | meditation
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I woke up yesterday angry at America. Angry at the world! And angry at my kids. Someone ate the Reese’s peanut butter cup right off my dresser, the one that I’d been saving, the one, truth be told, I took without asking right out of my son’s Halloween candy stash. Found the wrappers in the trash can, right within view, no hiding that. When confronted, neither my son nor daughter admitted to having eaten it. Could my husband, who is out of town, have eaten it? Nope, he texts me. Back to the kids. My son did his “I’m lying but pretending not to be” shrug, twice, and I shrugged it right back at him. He also claimed to have completed all his homework on Election Day – back to that in a minute – on his day off. Nope. Lying again. I looked straight at him and said, “I don’t understand why saying you didn’t eat a candy bar that I know you ate is worth defending.” At no point, however, did I admit that I had taken it right from the stash strewn over his floor. So that technically it was his. I was waiting for him to admit it first. Which being 13 he was not likely to do.

My daughter had a “publishing” party at her school recently, and so, instead of driving her as I usually do, we took public transportation. This consists of hopping on the subway near our house, and then getting off at 110th street to catch a bus across the top of the park. As we emerge from the subway station, there is a tense moment where we scan the traffic circle between the two bus stops to see if a bus is coming. If one is stopped at the light, we have just enough time to run from the stairwell to catch it. If the light has already turned green, it’s quite a hustle to make it there in time, but there are usually enough people waiting at the stop or also running alongside us to hold the bus.

Years ago in New York, it was common to see people handing out flyers in the subway. En route to work each morning, I would often see one particular group who offered commuters bright orange flyers. The evangelists would scatter themselves along the corridors in groups of twos and threes, such that I would have to weave in between them to avoid their outstretched hands. I had my approach down to a science – a slightly lowered gaze, tightly gripped purse, along with a short, terse shake of the head – to indicate that I was not interested. Still, the next person down the line would insistently shove the paper toward me, forcing me to repeat the same gesture until I was out of the minefield.