I am still here after all these years, since May 2012. I haven’t come a long ways though. I need to change my ways. Things happen for a reason. Time for me to wake and listen up. I need to change my goals along with the times. Writing a thousand words a day was not realistic for me. I have not reached it once. Maintaining my writing space here is do-able and helpful. I am sure a goal of 10 years is attainable. I’ve already done 7.

Yesterday the guy had a run in with our neighbour from Mars. She was busy digging a trench in our yard to run off rainwater from her driveway. When asked what she was doing, she went on a rampage again about how she has to clean up our messy, weedy yard all the time. What this meant for us is that she has had the Weedman spray pesticide onto our property along our raised vegetable beds. I put a stop to it by phoning the company each spring that this is not what we want and it is not legal. She has also had someone cart off boards and other objects we put aside by our garage on our side of the fence.

My list of things to complain about her is long. It started with her moving next door. Not only does she shovel her snow off her driveway onto my yard. She shovels it over the fence. She claims that it was the first time she lived in a house and didn’t know that wasn’t proper. She complains about my dog’s barking. They couldn’t hear the birds sing. Yet she and her partner at the time fought, yelled and slammed doors. My beans can’t climb over the fence. She cuts them off if they do. She complained about the mulch in our front yard. It’s a fire hazard. And so on and on.

I’ve lived beside her for over 10 years now. I’ve learned that to have peace, I had to ignore her totally. Not to look at her. Not to talk to her. I had to let her ‘own’ my little strip of space by her driveway to do as she please. Let her dig, plant little spruce seedlings, guard it 24/7 if she wants. I have better things to do. Once in awhile I would get caught by her ‘friendliness’ and engage somewhat. But then I would end up paying for it. That last time a few summers ago, I got so upset and angry. To find relief, I went for a ride on my tricycle. Maybe it was because of my distress that I lost control riding over a bumpy stretch. I ended up with the trike on top of me. I was in pain. It was heavy. I was lucky that my injuries were not severe. I was able to get up and ride home.

I have lived in equanimity beside her since, not responding to her at all. But the guy’s run in with her and the racist eposide in Richmond, B. C. caught on social media, brought back the memories and bad feelings. Though the neighbour has never slung any racist slurs at me, the hurt’s still feel the same. Though the woman in Richmond didn’t say those words to me, but to another Chinese woman, they hurt just the same. Her ‘Chinky, Chinky China Lady are the echo of ‘Chinky, Chinky China man from my childhood. The hurt I feel are from all the wounds from past hurts I could not understand.

It is good for me to keep this space to tap out my grievances, my sob stories. I can soothe and smooth myself. It is difficult and unfair to expect understanding from others. Only I can walk in my shoes. I can only expect change in myself – in what I do and what I say.

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