Life is good
(aside from all the crap)
Theodicy is the discipline that seeks to understand the reason for so much suffering in the world. To say that human life is often tragic and filled with loss, pain and mourning is so obvious that it need not be said. Yet lots of paper is spent on seeking to understand this reality. There are some lucky few where life is good when young, but even with these, there comes a point where life starts to take its toll and ‘things’ begin to happen.
When going through suffering answers don’t mean much, since during those times all that can be accomplished is to simply take the next breath, do the next task and try to make it through the day. This reality of life, the tragic side, is pretty much what the news is all about on a day to day basis. If it is not some catastrophe of nature, then it is about how man is truly a wolf to man, as the old saying goes; we do prey on one another.
Our lives do turn on a dime and this reality becomes ever more real as the years pile up and many of us find out how easy it is to get sick. In 2011 I had a pace-maker put in. On Monday I was fine, on Tuesday I started to get winded just walking down the hallway, never mind about going up and downstairs. I tried to ignore it; denial is easy to do. I have been told that men do it more than women; how true that is I have no idea, but I certainly tried it…. well it did not work. Then by Thursday, I had to go into the Veterans ER. So just like that, my pumps started acting up. I guess in the past many men died in their early sixties from what I now had and could not be fixed by a pacemaker. So I learned how so very easy it is to get sick and yes die. I suppose if I waited another few days I could have died. The doctor showed a bit of frustration when I told her that this had been going on for a few days before I came in. Stupid yes, as well as understandable. For who can really believe that they could possibly be dying?
Me? Nah, no way, that is for other people.
Life is good, there is also lots of joy, peace, love, and friendship, and getting older has its advantages, apart from the fact that my mortality is becoming ever more real to me. My heart is different, my inner heart, than when I was younger. Though I wish I was further along the road with this. My head and heart are still miles apart, and writing just gives me a one-lane entrance into this region that is still a mystery to me. The softness of being that we are capable of is still far away for me and it causes me some frustration that I have no control over this inner reality. All I can do is to stay open and seek to embrace life with all of its ups and downs.
I have lots of doubts about just about everything. Existence can seem so absurd at times and meaningless. Yet I have made a choice long ago to deepen my faith. To see what these longings of my heart, so often obscure but there none the less…. which pushes me to seek deeper into the often desert-like conditions of my soul what it is all about. I believe this is graces doing, operative I believe in the hearts of all of us.
There is no closure to faith, I can’t say, well this is it, I have it, no, for there is always something deeper to consider, or then some experience, not often pleasant that brings me to my knees to deal with, that keeps my heart raw, though I am still good at repressing, just not as good as I was when younger. It is probably because I don’t want to hide anymore. In struggle, pain, seeking and the joy that comes from time to time, when all that is going on, being dealt with, prayed through, depression seems a difficult thing to hold on to. For me, it is all equal, though I wish there was less pain and more joy. I get just joy enough to deepen my thirst for what nothing in this world seems able to fulfill. This joy comes from the small things in life. From smiles, friendship (surely not a small thing), gentle breezes, cold water when thirsty, the goodness of people who are the salt of the earth, yes little things. Perhaps it is the little things that overwhelm us, that heal in fact because when they touch, it is out of our hands. Little surprises, havens that are experienced throughout the day that in fact heal if allowed to. These little healings happen in the moment, not in my worries about the future, nor my regrets about the past.