Dick's Blog

“Silent Movie”, Chapter 35 of “Inside and Outside: Messages of Hope from a Lifelong Hiker and Depression Survivor”

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Welcome back to my free memoirs. You can access all the chapters in my first memoir, “Hiking Out”, and all chapters posted to date of my second memoir, “Inside and Outside”, by going to my BLOG and clicking on the appropriate book title at dicksederquist.com  

This Week, “Silent Movie”, Chapter 35 of “Inside and Outside (I hate violence, and this could escalate)

Next Week, “Picture of Life”, Chapter 36 of “Inside and Outside (my granddaughter said, “Hi Great Nana”, and combed her hair)


Property feuds have made the national senatorial news lately, which reminds me of my old story written a long time ago. Fortunately, I won’t have to watch this movie again. This film critic and the lead actors no longer live in the same neighborhood. Like the parable of turning the other cheek (avoiding personal retaliation over perceived slights, hurt feelings or injured pride and self-esteem) our world needs more forgiving and loving individuals and neighbors.

Silent Movie

I’m not shocked at this display, just saddened. I could have written the script. I wish I could play peacemaker, but don’t know how and where to begin. I hate violence, and this could escalate. They are two very nice people, who should not be getting their blood pressure riled up over this kind of thing. There are worse problems in the world.

Two of my friends have been carrying on a feud for a few years. It simmers down and heats up. We all pray that, like a stubborn infection, it will finally yield to time and just go away. The problem is, they are both (a little) hardheaded and don’t quite understand what pisses the other guy off. If the world knew this, there would be no war.

I watched neighbor No.1 use his snow blower to clean the street in front of his mailbox. Normally, I wouldn’t follow such action, but my right hand is in a cast from a joint replacement, slightly bored with fewer jobs that I can do. Since I was inside, there was no sound, no dialogue, a silent movie. He then proceeded to clear the other side of his driveway, the shoot of his snow blower directed toward the strip of grass between the street and sidewalk of neighbor No.2. Big mistake! The effluent from the shoot was full of sand and salt.

Neighbor, No.2, was pushing the light snow from his driveway with a shovel. I could see it coming. I was transfixed, but as if in a dream, I was unable to speak or move a muscle. Clearly, the sand and salt doesn’t belong on the lawn, but this goes on all winter. The town snowplows build up speed and direct this horrible mess half way up the front lawn all winter long.
Neighbor No.2 walked over to the patch of grass between the street and sidewalk near his property line, scooped up a large load of the of- fending snow, sand and salt and threw it at Neighbor No.1, followed by another shovel full. Big mistake! Neighbor No.1 (my old friend having very good sense) fortunately retreated. He could have attacked. I felt slightly sick to my stomach, again transfixed and unable to affect anything that was going on. The confrontation was over. I can’t imagine the internal dialogue of these two individuals, can’t imagine what counter move is being contemplated. I pray the anger will yield to the passage of time.

If I could play peacemaker, I would sit them both down together and lecture them, appeal to their sensibilities, tell them that I loved them both, tell them that in the grand scheme of things they should love and forgive each other. It boils down to choice: make love or war. If I could help, I would. Maybe, it was just a bad dream. I never want to see this movie again.

Dick Sederquist is a retired engineer, engineering consultant, writer, author, hiker, motivational speaker and cancer and depression survivor. Dick suffered an emotional breakdown 35 years ago, realizing that he had been depressed all his life. That started his long journey back to mental health and happiness. Dick writes motivational and inspirational nonfiction short stories and essays for general audiences on many topics including life, family, humor, spirituality, nature, science, his volunteer prison experiences, hiking and travel adventures, depression, overcoming adversity, and what the author refers to as “home improvement”, healing the mind and body we live in. Dick and his wife have been married 50 years; have two grown children and four grandchildren, all part of a close-knit, active, caring and loving family. The whole family believes that the greatest gift in life is helping others.


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Guest Sunday, 20 May 2018