Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Like a Prayer

 "I've been thinking a lot lately about whether or not I'm becoming too self-absorbed."  -  Dick Stein, KPLU

This quote was at the head of an email I received from a friend whom I had written to respond to an earlier email of his that contained bad news. News that I knew was coming, more or less, but concern for which I had let slip. I had apologized for being self-involved. He’s a good guy and his forgiveness was ready.

Still, I remained sad for him, and compounded the sadness by thinking of others I know whom I have neglected to inquire about. For instance, Snowman. If you scroll to the bottom of my blogroll, you will see “Diary of a Crap Poker Player.” Don’t bother clicking on the link, for the blog is no more. Snowman became ill about a year ago. We corresponded a bit and from time-to-time about his health, which seemed to be improving, and I encouraged him to keep writing. “It helps,” I told him. And now, no blog. So, I wrote him again, and await an answer. I want to get one.

The list, virtuals and those known by sight, is longer than I care to consider.

I studied philosophy as an undergrad, primarily because of questions about human suffering. I had seen a lot of it while working in hospitals, and as a young man, I wanted so badly to make sense of it all. None was to be found; just acceptance that we suffer. We must? That is the real question, for we are duty-bound to engage that constant.

It is the end of a calendar year. There is a mandate to reflect and resolve. I’ve never done well with authority, imagined or otherwise. I prefer to stew, reheat until the eventual mush. It is no small wonder that I find myself in my current condition. The clock is not broken; it needs a good cleaning.

I hear compassion makes for a good solvent.


Crash said...

I studied psychology for vaguely similar reasons as you with philosophy. That didn't work either. I know 2 other philosophy majors. They didn't gain much either, either. They both said that most of what they learned was that you just have to figure it out for yourself.

NT said...

I am just started reading an interesting book which directly addresses the topics you mention in this post. It's called The Feeling Buddha: A Buddhist Psychology of Character, Adversity and Passion by David Brazier.

bastinptc said...

Crash - I wouldn't say that I didn't gain much, just not what I initially wanted to find, which is fine. A wonderful mentor helped, who continues to assist me in such pursuits.

Sis - I read the first few pages via your link. I am reading something similar.