Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fierce Grace


Better, everyone, I’m better.

Wanna know why?

I acted like an adult yesterday, I swear to God that’s what made me feel better.

I ate well, stopped drinking caffeine at noon, exercised and went to bed early. Man, what a total loser I am huh? But seriously, I really believe that is partly what made me feel better, is just doing what I’m supposed to do for myself. I’m old now; this is how I work it.

A couple of things that have been flitting through my head in the name of feeling better:

There’s a man named Ram Daas , he made a movie called "Fierce Grace." Ram Daas is a yogi, a spiritual leader, but he used to work with Timothy Leary on all his drug experiments, until he realized he could get the same effect of the drugs with no drugs. Anyway, Ram Daas had a stroke that paralyzed him on his right side. "Fierce Grace" is about his recovery from that stroke, it is an amazingly touching movie, and when you live with a mother who had a stroke that paralyzed her left side, a woman without an ounce of peace, a woman who has never learned to live with her disability; it is truly an amazing film.

Anyway, the big piece of advice from Ram Daas I always give to mom, which she never takes, is “The suffering comes from trying to make life like it was before.” Ah, really, it is just the sagest piece of advice ever. Mom struggles because her life will never be the same, and she tries so hard to make it so. If she ever found a moment's peace with the way her life is now, it would change everything.

On a smaller scale, I’m doing the same thing. IT IS TIME TO PUT AWAY CHILDISH THINGS. It is time to be a grownup. I can’t smoke and drink and eat Burger King and expect to feel okay about all these things. And I think some of my struggle comes from me thinking I’m denying myself these things. That my life should be like it was when I was younger and I didn’t have to worry about such things as “cancer” or “fat around the middle.” I have a different life now, I want to embrace it, I want to feel good, I want to feel less guilty (notice I didn’t say “no guilt” ha), I want to do these things because I want to, not because I have to.

Mental shift.

And I will always remember the book I'm reading now, “The Edge of Sadness”, as the book that got me through not smoking. Even though I started reading it 3 weeks after I quit, this is the book that I will remember forever as this time in my life, I don’t do much quoting from books, but just to give you an idea of the beauty, simplicity and comfort this book has:

“We all share in a shattering duality – and by this I don’t mean that soggy, superficial split that one so often sees: the kind of thing, for example, where the gangster sobs uncontrollably at an old Shirley Temple movie. I mean the fundamental schism that Newman referred to when he spoke of man being forever involved in the consequences of some “terrible, aboriginal calamity”; every day in every man there is this warfare of the parts. And while all this results in meanness and bitterness and savagery enough, God knows, and while only a fool can look around him and smile serenely in unwatered optimism, nevertheless the wonder of it all is to me the frequency with which kindness, the essential goodness of man does break through, and as one who has received his full measure of that goodness, I can say that for me, at least, it is in the long succession of these small redemptive instants, just as much as in the magnificence of heroes, that the meaning and the glory of man is revealed.”

The book had me laughing out loud on the train this morning, it is just as funny as it is beautiful.

And in the name of "your life could be a hell of a lot worse" Beyond the Limit last night was AMAZING. With an INCREDIBLY DRAMATIC Everest summit bid. Holy mother! Ever broken your hand 3 hours from the top of Everest? NO? Oh my lord. It is also the finale of ANTM tonight (I just want Saleisha’s hair to lose) and so we’re getting pizza and watching that and maybe Crowned and Project Runway.

And then there are the things your boyfriend will do for you to cheer you up:

Thank you so much to everyone for listening me seriously whine and be so self-pitying these past few days (erm, weeks) but it really did help me, knowing how important this all was to you helped me stay on the right track more than you all know. It’s quite possible, even certain, that there is going to be more self-pitying whining in the future, but for now, for today, for right now, God bless us, every one.

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