Recently I heard part of a discussion between some students about what appeared to be the nature of reality. In response to a student saying they saw the good in everything, another student replied, “Well, I’m realistic.” I blurted out, uninvited, “that doesn’t sound very realistic.”
It seems to me that striving to be something is more of “a doing” than “a being.” I’m not saying doing is bad, I’m saying that doing born of doing can be weird, as opposed to doing born of being. I’m saying that what we do is nothing compared to how we are.
Okay—just when is that medication going to wear off, right?
Sometimes we do live under some onus or other, and not entirely of our own doing. In such times, even if we just are, that beingness is traversing through some negative soup or the other. We can clearly make it worse, but it seems like we can do little to make it better.
It doesn’t take much thinking to know that war is a huge negative. Divorce is also a negative, even if it is necessary. Death can be another. Disease yet another. Learning when under the gun as opposed to learning as a result of play, is still another. It is irresponsible to think that each of us is completely responsible. Sometimes we “find” ourselves in the midst of such problems. And when we do, sometimes we just have to endure.
But sometimes, the storm breaks. And if we’re ready, we shall not be cynics, we shall be freed. Okay, by ready I mean being attentive without being swayed by the past.
All right, I’ll tell you what is afoot and why I’m writing like I’ve fallen into a vat of some instant feel-good potion.
I feel good. Real good. The house needs more attention and the car is unbelievably dirty, and this nation is at war and the economy is about as trustworthy as some of those financial peddlers and I’m still single and so on.
But the pain is gone. I have never had such a run of chronic pain as I have had the last four-plus years. I endured, but that pain was like a Dracula, only one that worked ever so slowly—allowing me only enough energy to keep feeding the Dracula.
Now I’m five-plus months post-surgery for the so-called hip replacement. I cannot be in my 20s or 30s or 40s, or 50s for that matter. But I can do things and I can just be and I am no longer dragging around the pain-anchor. And good grief—I only needed a hip replacement. What of those with far bigger pain-anchors?
During the four plus years of chronic pain, I sometimes felt like my life was in a continual state of diminishment. However, maybe I wasn’t diminished when I was in pain. Maybe I was just in pain. Maybe growing up and growing older is not about inevitable diminishment, it’s just about growing up and older. Maybe troubles are not an evil, maybe they’re just troubles.
Yes, it would be unrealistic to think I’ll never have another struggle again, but sometimes what we call being realistic is used as a reason to temper beauty—as in ugly always darkens beauty and so one must be realistic about what is really good and how long good will last.
Consider that maybe the fact we feel anything—good or bad—is a wonder. What if the only thing that isn’t transitory is unfettered awareness? I can’t help but smile. I’m glad I’m not dragging pain all right. I do like beauty. But there has never been anything so amazing as just being.