So just when I was all full of enthusiasm to blog more frequently, last week came along. (Though I am already blogging more frequently than I was for the past year or so, and will therefore cut myself some slack.)
Last week sucked. Because a very dear friend of of the family, one of my sister’s lifelong friends, was touched by hideous tragedy: her ten-year old daughter died, very suddenly and unexpectedly and without a clear reason why, at least up to this point.
(Let me just say that I know that the entire world does not revolve around me, that I know how blessed I am to not be going through what either of these women are going through, that my angsty tailspin is nothing but a mosquito bite compared to what they are going through.)
Still. It just hurts so much to be presented with the reality of how fragile life is. To be reminded of the truth of impermanence.
I found myself kissing and cuddling my little one in excess of his tolerance for such things which, admittedly, is extremely high. I reminded my spouse to eat more vegetables, and though he thanked me at our supper-time ritual of noting the things for which we are grateful, I felt like a real nag doing so. I just felt so uptight and helpless and sad at how much I cannot control.
There is so much suffering, always, everywhere, every day. But on the days when it comes closer to me, I feel so shaky – like the solid ground I think I live on has suddenly disappeared. One of my favourite Buddhist teachers, Pema Chodron, talks about how this groundlessness is actually the way things are all the time, that it is a mistake to think that suffering or joy or any other state will stick around long enough to let us build anything lasting on it. There is a lot of wisdom in that.
But you know, I like my solid ground – illusions and all.