Sunday, November 6
"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know." - Ernest Hemingway
A wise family counselor once told me that balance is critical to human health and happiness. She suggested a way to maintain balance in my marriage. When my husband and I arrive home from work each evening, we mention only one "worst" thing and we must find one "best" thing in our day to discuss. This technique clears the emotional "air" and then we move on to the present moment. It really works and some days, we don't even mention the "worst" of our day!
Today, my "Christmas" plant bloomed early! This is one of many wonderful things that has happened today - so far nothing in the "worst" category! (I haven't read the news today, though, and maybe I'll read something else and keep the positive momentum going.)
May all beings know love and peace and see the wonder in simple beauty today!
Friday, November 4
(Edit - November 4, 2005: Paris is burning. Poverty, rage, and destruction are once again at the breaking point. I remember the 1992 Los Angeles riots and understand how one incident and an incompetent and misguided city government can flare into a full blown riot. It reminded me of what I wrote during that time in Los Angeles and I am sad that change for the better is so slow.)
May 3, 1992
As I sit before my computer, bloated from compulsive overeating and barely able to breathe because of compulsive anxiety, I am sad. Heartbroken is too vibrant a word. Sad is better. It is overused in these times. Often replaced with the word "tragic," but expressive of the exhaustion and careless abandon one feels when faced with repetitious suffering. Sad, mad, bad, ....BLAH.
What can one do about the sadness in the world? What can anyone do to prevent or even limit suffering? Both conditions are sisters in the family of pain.
Big sister, "suffering", seems to be eternal and self-perpetuating. Poverty, disease, hatred, violence all make up her limbs and torso. She does not have a brain or heart only a black hole where these vital organs normally reside. All consciousness evaporates or disintegrates as it comes within Suffering's force field. The vacuum of ignorance is the cause and product of this force and it becomes the outward expression of Suffering's brainless, heartless existence.
The soft body of Sadness descends like a blanket over those who first feel the trauma of Sister Suffering. Little Sister, though petite and sometimes pretty, often delivers the killing blow to a conscious, striving being. Like a lovely, translucent jellyfish she floats in the great ocean of pain created by her sister. In order to live, she must paralyze her prey and absorb it slowly. Despair is the lifeblood of Sadness. The slow process she uses to absorb the spirit is fascinating at first. Gently, she probes with depression-soaked fingernails for the soft, painful source of Suffering. She injects a bitterness and self-loathing into the victim and then feeds as the spirit stumbles. Sadness patiently repeats the cycle of fear, depression and despair until the spirit is a mushy, digestible slop. This spirit slop nourishes the Sisters who have grown enormous throughout modern history.
The huge bulk of Suffering and Sadness has grown even larger and more ominous today. It is Sunday, May 3, 1992. Killings, burnings, beatings, looting, hate and fear break the hearts, minds and backs of the people of Los Angeles. Loss of dignity, loss of opportunity, loss of spirit... We've lost our way and now reside in the stifling hole of Suffering and Sadness. There is no comfort or mercy in this hole. It grows deeper as the two Sisters work their terrible sorcery and freeze-dry the residents of Los Angeles. We are paralyzed with fear and pain.
"La, La, La, La, La, La, La ... I love you.. I love you! The Chilites from Chicago wrote LA a love song years ago and it keeps playing in my head tonight. I'm also hearing Randy Newman's song, "I love LA" and these sweet, boistrous tributes slash through the darkness and pain and bring a moment of hope. The morning will come and every day brings choice. The hope that people will choose sanity and love over chaos and hate is all that keeps me going right now.
Final edit at November 5, 2005 - Paris is still burning.
May all beings know love and peace.