Day 317 - Reincarnation of Ants...
It has been hot here. I mean like 108 hot. It isn’t fun. A perk though is that the local ant population is super active in the heat. They are no dummies and so whenever the temperature spikes, they find a way inside my home and swarm the cat food bowl in the kitchen. No matter what I do, they just keep coming. It is awful, for a number of reasons.
I am one of those people who relocates spiders and the like. I know many of you think this is stupid (and a few of you brave). I really do try not to kill anything...ever. I have asked exterminators if we can “relocate” the mice that sometimes frequent the chicken coop. The look on their face is priceless.
Much to my chagrin, I have to kill the ants. I have tried talking to them but I seem to lack the ability to articulate myself in ant-speak. They seems to completely ignore my pleas to vacate the premises. I have likewise been unsuccessful in figuring out how to relocate an army of ants...
So it is a problem for both the ants and I in that they refuse to stop entering my house and practicing their martial ant tracks across my kitchen floors and counters. I get that it is hot...but they are seriously not welcome. And it is a problem for me, that I lack a sufficiently good response to their presence that doesn't involve killing them.
I was watching them the other day as I always do. Dreading the next actions that I will have to take that will eradicate them. This is an ongoing issue, and I have literally tried everything to no avail. So I was watching them come, one tiny ant soldier after another. There were so many of them. An endless supply of ants its seems. Even as I make my first move of annihilation, they still come and barely alter their path.
This made me wonder if they knew something that I did not...perhaps they know that pressing forward is ok because in the ant supernatural world their death just leads to an immediate reincarnation. They literally just go to the back of the line and then work their way up again. This seemed a better thought to me than to think of all those tiny little ants souls just being wiped off the earth. I know you all will think I am crazy but I think about the ant relationships destroyed, how the colony will feel when Battalion Erin’s Home is wiped out in a tidal wave of homemade ant spray? Are their jobs that don’t get done in the ant world? Tiny ants that are left without caregivers? Is the queen any worse for the wear when part of her colony is gone?
I know, I know! I am a nut. I get that. But this is how I think and feel. Imagine how hard life is for me that I think this way. Think about how hard it is for me to kill them when I think like this. Now do you understand why I have been a vegetarian since I was 13?! I can’t separate the feelings and thoughts enough to disassociate myself so that I can be like most other people and just eat the meat or kill the spider.
I do not really believe that the ant colony feels exactly like we do, but I do not KNOW that for a fact...so it is always there for me, this idea that what if they do. Like what if I die, and I find out that all sentient beings really do feel and think and hurt and love just like we do...
And that thought right there has ruined me, repeatedly.
This idea that perhaps I don’t know and may someday be faced with the reconciliation of belief and behavior has kept me on the non-meat eating, non-killing of anything if I can help it side of things for most of my life. I want to increase my merit in this world, not create a whole bunch of bad karma that I am going to have to deal with in whatever comes next...which I remain unconvinced of what exactly that is...some days, it is nothing comes next and other days I have a lot of other ideas. Regardless of what comes next, I am sure that I want to live my best life while I am here. I do not want to create or manifest suffering for myself or anyone else...even ants.
So I am going to go with this idea that ants are immediately reincarnated back into themselves. That the souls are just recycled over and over and over again. That I am not really killing them so much as giving them an opportunity to start over...and the truth be told I feel shitty even about that thought...
I have no answers on how to live without creating suffering for anyone, even ants. I just feel horrible that they keep coming and I have to keep killing them. I pray that the heat breaks and they go back to wherever they usually live and I can stop thinking about them. I like the usual existence where they do their ant thing and I do mine and we do not have to bother each other.
As I was watching them the other day, march themselves into certain death, I was amazed at how much the looming giant figure that was me didn’t seem to bother them at all, they do not stop what they are doing and look at me and my proximity like any other being. They just keep on working, marching, eating and moving. On and on...they really do not ever stop. I wondered what it might be like to have no trepidation about my tasks, to just go on blindly pushing forward, trudging toward my goal with no deterrent too great or small. This made me feel almost positive that the ants know something that I do not...that they have the answer to some secret that I do not. They are capable of forging onward when I stop and debate my course. They are sure, where I am not. Can they trudge onward because they know that it matters now what happens to them, that they will just end up being reincarnated and back to their old lives in a few short weeks? Do they know that something better (like being reincarnated into some other being like an otter) is next for them, so they don’t mind the death in the here and now?
Whatever the truth is, I am fascinated by their resolution and grit and at the same time totally dismayed by our stalemate in my kitchen. They march in and out with impunity and I stand there with my homemade agent orange (which is really dish soap, alcohol and water) poised to annihilate them once more. No matter how I think about it or size it up, they win. And I lack any thought process that allows me to come out ahead.
So for now, I am going to continue to ask them to leave. And wait it out and pray that that works. We all know that it won’t. So I am resigned to have to deploy responses from my baser nature that makes me somewhat spiritually sick. I know that I may have lost some of you on this ridiculous ant existential jag but I believe that it allows you to see that I care deeply and thoughtfully about all creatures great and small. And if I will spend this much time and energy on ants, think of how much the human relationships pain me! And just like the ants, I didn’t pick this...it is just my lot in life...at least for now.