Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Seven Sins: Wrath

With the current airspace situation in central Europe. Lots of people being stranded all over the place. Web pages and call centers of the airlines being saturated, it is hard not to lend one self to the sin of Wrath.

Since a friend of mine, or rather two of them where getting married together, and the Monday before it was San Vicent, big party in my fathers town. I decided to pay a visit, my girlfriend was not impressed by the fact that I was heading south alone. She had work to tend to, specially a whole course to look after. Domestic matters aside, she generally does not handle well me being away. Life is made in such a way. So I flew to Spain after spending the Saturday in Amsterdam and attending a concert of Explosions in the Sky, until then all good of course.

The Monday was the party day, if any one has attended a daytime party in my region it usually starts by having brunch at around 9:30. It is not really a brunch its more like eat a nice sandwich so that you have something in the stomach, because you will need it. Then its drugs and rock and roll all day. So from one beer to the next, with only a gin & tonic after the compulsory paella. You eat you drink you talk, you smoke. You try to enjoy the weather, and then you forget about anything that is outside of what is in your line of sight. Life scales down in complexity, and all you care about is the next sip of beer or the conversation you are involved.

Well this years San Vicent was rainy, so in the evening we took refuge in a bar. El Raco del Pou
well know for its underground ambiance, and its amateur and semi pro flamenco jams.

Did I mention my girlfriend as part of the whole description of the day, no. So that was the first instance of Wrath, since I did not even send a message. I will not justify my-self. Suffice it to say for now that men are from Mars and women are from Venus.

So after that I went on enjoying my holidays as my beloved girlfriend was undergoing pain and agony at work. Busy schedule plus trips plus me not being there. Yes I can be an insensitive clod and that creates Wrath understandably. The rest of the week was spent going out at night, sleeping by day and doing all sorts of things like writing the previous seven sins article in this series.

On Thursday it was deemed by the air space authorities that flying over Europe was to dangerous due to the ash being spewed out from Eyjafjallajoekull, an Icelandic volcano, with a name I can not pronounce.

On Thursday night I managed to be home and brought up with my parents the uneasy topic of the guest list for our wedding. It was also the only night I was available to Skype, so I had to interrupt the conversation with my parents to talk with my better half. Then Wrath spewed out from me as I grew tired of listening to everyone tell me the same thing: Invite who you want for your wedding, yet all of them where having an opinion on who should or should not make it to my side of the list. I think something resonated inside the from my friend Eyjafjallajoekull and I just went all out. Wrath in its purest form turns you into a jackal and everything spews out, in all directions, in all matters. On my parents side it was a sincere lack of commitment, and they where not ready for that discussion. On my girlfriends side it must have been the frustration of me having delayed the making of the list, plus the guarding off any over influence of my parents on the list. I felt trapped in the middle of it and like the magma in the volcano it all came out.

Is there some sort of geological connection, that makes me be in sync with a volcano?

The matter got resolved as my girlfriend understood that I was obviously out of patience with the whole situation, and was very conciliating. She managed to put out the flames, well the ashes are still up in the air.

The day after Friday, I tried to keep in touch, through some small messages, and got it all obviously wrong. I also managed to catch up with an old friend. He now runs the kitchen in one of the most luxurious restaurants of the region. It was good to see him again, and to know that he is doing well. The afternoon was just time for a coffee with a friend and home to diagnose my fathers computer. After that I went out with my cousin and all his friends, nice bunch of people, it was nice for once being out on a budget. Under the current economic situation, people find ways of going out on the cheap. I mean if half of your friends are unemployed you share the drinks by the bottle, and just grab a sandwich, if you do not bring one from home.
Wrath is no longer present in the people, the situation has been accepted, and not much else happens, people adapt and that is it.

Saturday was the wedding, but before that a quick trip to the local mall to get the spare parts that where necessary. Then the ceremony, and the party, all good fun until late. Decided to behave and not carry on in the local disco the party at 5 am. Went to bed expecting the mother of all hangovers, but it was simply not there.

No morning wrath, just being woken up by my girlfriend that even phoned the house asking me to check what was the status of my flight. Phoned the company, checked the web page of the airline, even pried into eurocontrols' web site to see what the situation was. My flight was still being operated until 22:30 on Sunday. Then a single sms and an email warned that it had been cancelled. The stage was set, the fear became the truth and I was officially stranded. At that stage, we got in touch, and I then tried to get in touch with the airline but to no avail.

We spoke 5 minutes later and decided that the best course of action was to take a bus. My hemorrhoids will remember the trip for a while. They are pulsating with the anticipation of being noticed for those 20 hours, and the few days after. I will have to endure hemorrhoid wrath, is that the worse kind of wrath?

At that moment all was flowing fine amongst the turmoil there was a solution. One that would take some time to be implemented but solved nevertheless. The wrath was subdued, or so did I think, until the next morning. Then when contacting the university where I work, the secretary told that perhaps I should try to get back home by train, good thinking to try and mitigate both kinds of Wrath, hemorrhoid, and girlfriend one. No luck as expected, all trains being fully booked. The situation was helpless, but the back up plan is there, and active.

Then on Monday night there where two outburst of wrath, one when I phoned to check on the day, as I was obviously not welcome in her mental state at the time, and the second after the news broke the AMS was reopening for restricted flights. A few minutes later I check again with the airline but to no avail. The helplessness of the situation on my side is mirrored by an ever growing Wrath, being fueled most likely by divine motherly intervention.

The worse of the whole situation, is that Wrath when taken as a pastime for the soul prevents all other parts to function correctly. The battles have to be picked, and fighting a volcano does not seem to be one that is easily won. I prefer to battle the Wrath that is present in me against the situation, and to make the most of it. To do otherwise would be to force oneself to be unhappy out of own choice. That is something I decided to give up a long time ago.

Wrath is indeed a sin, because it makes us and the others around us unhappy. There is a brief period of time between perception to action. Filtering and reacting there out of our own agreement, is hard at best. For all the times I have failed to do so accordingly I ask to be forgiven. For the others I will not hold it against.

It is indeed ironic that it takes a volcano for us to learn such lessons, and a life time to apply the knowledge.

Eyjafjallajoekull we will remember you, for a long time.