Friday, May 14, 2010

wisdom teeth extraction update:

agatha = 1. wisdom teeth = 0. ha!

Monday, May 10, 2010

which way the wheel turns

in thinking about planning for my future, i can't help having flashbacks to being a much younger girl, and thinking a bit wistfully how much easier life was in many ways. one of my favorite activities, when i was younger, was to go to our massive town library and go and scavenge for ten or twelve books i wanted to read, and then to either go and find a comfortable chair in the corner in which to horde and devour, or to take them home and, with a large piece of chocolate in hand, go one by one. the library even had shelves down in the basement where the cafe was, where you could buy used books for 25 cents. if i had $5 in my pocket, i could buy a sandwich and a snapple and sit and happily read for hours. there's a certain charm to that simplicity; and yet i'm not foolish enough to forget the many hours of boredom and frustration that go with being young and feeling powerless. no real money, no freedom to go where i choose, no sense of feeling that my opinion had any importance. when you're an adult, you can choose how you want to live your life, and how you want people to treat you.

so i don't un-wish the responsibilities that i have now–they go hand in hand with the freedoms of getting older. i guess it's just that being free is both terrifying and exhilarating–if you are submitting to someone else's will, you don't have to think for yourself. i think a lot of people feel it's easier not to, actually, even when they grow up. sometimes, in a moment of mental and spiritual exhaustion, i can almost understand why–but the terror of giving up that right is so great that the feeling is quickly vanquished by the tremendous courage and confidence you get from steering your own life.

do please forgive me if i quote the same passage again and again…i trust that the (possibly) three people who actually read this blog are of such a kind friendship with me that they'll either forgive me or just skip past it. i mean, do you ever have such a revelation, that you feel is so much a cornerstone of your own faith that you can't help returning to it like a prayer wheel?

at any rate, the point is that i said, reflecting on a particularly animated dream i had, that, despite fear of the unknown, despite the crushing weight of responsibility to be something beyond myself, despite all this, i still retain a fervent gratitude "to be the one who decided which way the wheel turned."

because i am truly thankful. i've had a lot to bear in my life, but could have borne a lot more, and am only too conscious of the great blessing i have in being able to strike out my own destiny. what is fate? the apple rolling on the plate? still, i am rolling the apple.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

for a reason?

do you believe that everything happens for a reason? i actually do–or rather, even rejecting the supposition of a higher power pre-determining this reason, when actions happen, there is reason behind them, and reason to be gained in their happening (reason in the purpose sense, not the logic sense).

i can't quantify how often this thought comes back to me, but it makes my life feel fuller somehow. negative experiences still hurt, but they lose some of their bitter tinge in the thought of what i gain by them: greater perspective, understanding of human nature, understanding of what i want in my life. i know i'm being vague, but it's because i'm thinking of several experiences over the past year, not just one. and i see more and more how, as i said, every experience is an opportunity to be happy. and for me to realize what i need in my life.

isn't that the hallmark tenant of buddhism? my friend paul tells me that his favorite aspect of buddhism is the symbol of the lotus flower. have you ever seen one? they really are very beautiful:
he says it is a buddhist symbol because the lotus can blossom in most any location–a crack in the sidewalk, a pile of refuse; from bad beginnings comes something beautiful and pure.

it reminds me that there is so much room for goodness.

it's not just for the classroom!