Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm Rubber, You're Glue

I feel like the Angel of Death these days. Or at the very least, the Angel of Debilitating, Long-term Illness with a Slab of Mortality on the Side.

My grandmother is in the hospital after spending seven hours in the ER, disoriented and confused. Frankly, after seven hours in the ER, I was feeling that way, too.

I must have been a really bad person in my past life. I realize that not all of this is happening directly to me; my grandma was scared and confused, and she was feeling every bit her age (94) as she laid in the bed and couldn't recall what she had eaten that day, or when she had called her daughter that day or that I was in town for some time still. It's happening around me, though, and the last time I came to Philly I left in a hurry to a life drastically changed. How much more should one person have to take? Seriously. How many more emergency rooms do I have to sit in and funerals do I have to attend and sympathy cards and fruit baskets do I need to purchase this year to prove that I am reformed from my last life's misdeeds?

Buddhism says life is suffering, and there should be no, "Why me?" because the response from the universe is always, "Why not you?" as that's just how the karmic cookie crumbles. We find true peace and joy when we let go and just understand that life is. That's it. Life just is. So our mental and emotional elasticity determines how happy we are, a happiness that has nothing to do with  the kind of car we drive or the size house we live in. Kind of the "I'm rubber, you're glue" principle, only everything should be glue, and we should be the most serene, rubber motherfuckers you have ever seen.

Great idea. I'll get started on that.

Right now, though, I question my decision to start this in Pennsylvania. This is not helpful. That sounds selfish. I get it. It's better to say that than to do what I really want to do, which  is fling myself on the ground and start screaming, or get in the car and start leaving.  I have seriously considered leaving the country for awhile. Regardless of what Buddha says, it is too much, and I need a break from worry and woe and heartbreak. I feel ill-equipped to shepherd myself and my daughter through this dismal mess.

Today we start with love, going to the Philadelphia to see the Love statue, and then maybe on to a little stargazing and spying at the Franklin Institute. Maybe we'll see some answers there.

Quote Of The Day: "To err is human, to forgive divine, and to persist devilish." Ben Franklin


  1. I love the Buddhist paragraph, I think there is a lot to be said for that whole idea. Self-pity is a slippery slope, even if, in your case, you have every reason to slide down feet first.

    The mind-body part I struggle to understand is the fact that you can't impose serenity on yourself by sheer force of will or meditation or prayer or whatever. Sometimes the chemicals in your brain don't cooperate and if you start by fixing the chemicals (anti-depressants), the rest may be easier. Are you taking care of yourself that way?

    1. I am choosing not to medicate myself in any way (minus the occasional sleep aid, and I mean very occasional, and some bourbon now and again). I am trying to take care of myself through yoga, nature, art, good food, writing and just time. Honestly, my chemicals now aren't really different than my chemicals for the past 40 years, and I'd rather not introduce an anti-depressant into the mix.

      I always say that I am a "practicing" Buddhist because I am certainly not perfect. It is so easy to say the words but difficult to consistently feel that they are true. Sometimes it's just all stupid chatter that doesn't seem to matter much, and on those days I allow myself to sink a little. Which is okay, too.

      Thanks for the comment. :)