Ongoing Stories of My Soul

Look over my shoulder as I ponder life.

On Sleeping with Skunks…..

I know what you thought when you read that title. Deb is going to recall her life with two ex-husbands…ick. Well, you can relax. I kinda like both of my exes, so we will let those sleeping dogs lie. And no I am not calling them dogs. The ‘lie’ part I will live alone, too.

Actually I slept with a skunk. Or rather, I dreamed about encountering a skunk. The real kind. You know, black with white stripes, pungent, musky odor. Star of many cartoons and a few Disney films. The one that National Geographic tells you is a mammal that digs, an omnivore with bad eyesight and sleeps and births in dens. How do they typically meet their Skunk Creator? By getting hit by cars while dining on roadkill. Who knew? Most predators leave them alone, except dogs, who heed little warning when little Miss DePew lets lose with those anal glands. The remedy for that awful odor? A combination of things, including vinegar, tomato juice, and hydrogen peroxide. The best idea? Leave the skunk alone.

Now, you may ask, why am I writing a blog about a skunk. I really don’t know. But I think it has to do with the notion that many of us seem to like sneaking up on life’s skunks and wondering why our present situation stinks. I am talking to me, not you. Not that I have a stinky life. If you follow this blog, you probably know that I spend a lot of time laughing at life. And at myself. I truly don’t believe in bad days…but recognize that there are stinky events in good days. So noted. But I have taken on the skunk to blast this blog with another kind of nuisance: ‘stinkin’ thinkin’. Yep. Heard it once in a teacher workshop and remembered it. But how does this skunk-like neural transfer really work?

Easy. Surround yourself with folks who paint everything with negativity, “It won’t work,” “Things are never going to get better,” and ‘effing this and that’ and well, you’ll begin to smell. Or worse yet, life will take on a toxic odor and then you are in big trouble.

Now….I share this because we all have skunks in our lives: the workplace, neighborhood, families,  and God help us (really!) in our churches. Why do I know this? Because I can be one. Not that I don’t find skunks necessary, vital to creation, and kinda cute, but in the metaphoric sense, I can be one of the worst offenders. I condemn, complain, judge, and criticize, even though I am called to serve, uplift, forgive, and love. I walk around and release that dreadful odor then ask, “What smells so bad?”

I will bet your there is not one actual skunk–spotted or striped—who thinks that the odor they emit from their glands smells bad. Nope. To them it signals survival. And for that nocturnal, 3 year life span-living mammal, life smells sweet.

I am not sure why I dreamed of a skunk. Can’t say that I ever have before and can share with all certainty that I hope I never do again. But, this REM-inspired vision caused me to google ‘skunk’ to learn more about them. Since authors tend to look at things in varied colored lenses, I  decided to share my findings with you. I have only one wish: please don’t say this blog stinks!

And maybe tonight I will sleep alone. Unless one of those pesky ex-husbands show up!

Yeah….I am thinking skunks are safer.

But that ‘stinkin-thinkin’? That’s for the dogs.

And skunks.