Saturday, August 20, 2011

suffering, revisited

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster. - From the poem One Art, by Elizabeth Bishop

Years ago, a dear friend lost her father. His death was a surprise and it was tragic. She came home to attend his funeral and pick up the pieces with her family.

And she went out to lunch with me. This friend and I were cut from the same cloth. Suffering rolls off of us. We laugh it off. We think it off. Masters of the art of avoidance. We sat in my car and howled at the hilarity of losing. We were in our early twenties. We were smart girls. We were angry, hard nosed little cynics.

I couldn't feel her suffering. I wouldn't. She didn't want me to,I told myself. We sat in my car, hard as little rocks.

I'm still a hard little rock. It makes me easier to love, I tell myself. Things can happen to me, and I will do you a favor by not expecting you to confront my suffering. We are all like this.

Life is suffering. It's the god's honest truth. I'd stare it in the face, with a softened heart, if I could. I would surrender to it, if I weren't so afraid.

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