Monday, December 31, 2007

bad things

Bad things happen all the time.

Or; Life is characterized by suffering.

Evidently so.

We all have large lists of suffering we and others have endured and and/or perpetrated. It boggles my mind sometimes how real life is, how it really is the only realness that we can know. And how blatantly full of pain and suffering it is.

Don't get me wrong, I have experienced joy and happiness. There are foot massages and perfect tacos and skiing and fresh tomatoes. And I love all of those things. But when suffering comes along doesn't it seem to make those things pale in comparison? It's mystifying.

A very good friend of mine recently found out that he has cancer. This is a reoccurrence of a skin cancer he had a few years ago. I'm afraid to talk to him because I tend to put my foot in my mouth, and I would probably say something wildly stupid. But obviously my fears should come in second to the first priority, which is to love my friend. This is something I've always struggled with, putting my fears second to the real priorities. So I will call him and connect and hang out with him and see how he is doing with this news.

What the hell is cancer doing attacking my friend? A few years back, another very close friend was diagnosed with skin cancer, and luckily she found out early and treated it swiftly. These are two beautiful people. My grandpa died of cancer a few months back, and I did not do anything about it. There was nothing I could do, but I didn't even make an effort to reach out to him, or talk to him because I didn't know how to. And the weird thing was that he died on the same day that one of my oldest and best friends killed herself, July 16th, 2007. And that same day, my partner's sister got married.

A while ago, a coworker's friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I didn't know what to say exactly, other then to suggest that work was obviously second priority, and that my coworker should go be with her friend. I should take my own advice, sometimes.

What does karma have to do with these things? I don't believe that my friend did anything wrong and is now being punished for it, in this lifetime or any other. I don't really understand karma in these types of situations. Theoretically I understand that suffering can help you understand compassion, and that it can be a path toward enlightenment, but in reality it just looks like plain old suffering with no real reason.

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