This week I’ve been confronted time and time again with these incredible moments that jar me out of my ordinary conciousness into a kind of stunned amazement. I was watching a television program about this man who suffers from elephantiasis, and his bravery and spirit just cut into me like a knife. He has suffered terribly his whole life with a disease that causes him blinding headaches and has disfigured his face and body into something terrifying to look at, but he maintains a good attitude and tries to make the best of his situation. I saw him and felt this overwhelming sense of the unfairness of his situation. Why do I get to be so lucky and he has to live with that?
Then I ran into a woman that I haven’t seen in three years. She had a new baby and looked radiant. We chatted for a while and I mentioned the big changes in her life. She said “Yeah, it’s been really challenging. I would never have asked for all of it, but after losing the first baby, then having the brain tumor and the brain surgery, gettting pregnant again with her….it all worked out as it should have, I guess.” She had been through hell and come out on the other side with a wonderful gift, and she was grateful for it. I was stunned by the ordeals that people have thrust upon them, time and time again, and how beautiful it is when they come through them with grace and gratitude.
After talking with her, I saw an old friend who’d been stationed in Iraq for the past year and a half. He’d been going along in his regular life as a cop, putting in time with the National Guard, then this war…he was jerked out of the comfortable trajectory he was used to and thrust into an alien life. His wife and children had to be without him, worried sick…then here he is, back like he’d just taken a long walk around the block. Back, but with the specter of additional deployments ahead of him…
Then last night a guy I work with got shot. He’s not a cop, he works at the garage. Took a round in the face, one in the shoulder, one in the hand, in the stomach, in the back…He survived, but barely. The shooter left him lying in the dirt and went to another house, where he shot and killed another person. The guy who survived the shooting is the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. At the scene they found roses and candy he was bringing to his girlfriend.
You think you’re going to have a nice little Valentines Day celebration, the next thing you know you’re fighting for your life.
It feels like some kind of serious heads-up.
I guess that I am so happy with my life, with the abundant blessings that have been heaped on me by a benevolent universe, that I kind of feel like I’m maxing out my last credit card, and any moment the thing is gonna melt down. The lady behind the counter’s gonna get on the phone and not let me have it back.
“I’m sorry, sir. Your card’s been declined.”
Did anybody watch Nova last night? Those bugs trapped in amber from twenty million years ago? A fly with a lifespan of two days gets stuck in some resin, and twenty million years later we can count every little hair on his head.
Last night’s Yoga class was a lifesaver. I always dread going and try to come up with excuses, but once I’m there I feel like I want to do it forever, every day, all day long. I’m good at putting up resistance to what I need. I’m a tricky bastard that way.
I love this life. I truly do. I want so much to do it right, to have a great fucking time and not waste it, not waste any of it.
I still want that lens.