What Loss Can Do

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Loss can crack you open

Until you almost break

Or until you break

And either stay broken

Or put the pieces back together

Ignore the cracks?

Embrace the cracks?

Seal the cracks with love and gratitude?

The cracks remain

Loss can make you feel

Too much

Too often

Too fully

Or just enough?

Loss can remind you

That you cared that much

That you could again

That some things do matter

And some things don’t

Loss can make you choose

To live with it

To accept the deal

To risk its barbs

Again

And

Again

Loss can make you

Realize

It’s worth it.

 

God-Damn, Mother-Fucking Perspective!

Scan 2I’m certain you’ll excuse my language when I disclose that my best friend was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. So I can cuss as much as I fucking want, right? And blaspheme for good measure?

Talk about limbo, she’s currently waiting for her surgery to be scheduled. She won’t know the outcome or what, if any, permanent damage has occurred until she’s well into the month long initial recovery period (how long does it take to fully recover from brain surgery? No one knows). So, in the meantime, she’s on steroids and pain meds and functioning in the fog, ruminating over the possibilities and maintaining an admirable sense of humor and stoicism.

“Surviving Limbo” has felt like an apt title for a blog about living in-between married and divorced, but since I chose it I’ve felt a subtle shame due to the relatively first world, non-dire nature of such circumstances. It’s certainly a painful inconvenience to struggle with identity and philosophical crises and restructuring a family. It can be life-degrading, even life-threatening but there’s a measure of exaggeration in the application of the word “surviving.” You only have to witness someone truly imperiled to recognize the distinction between lifestyle issues vs. life and death issues.

One of my ambitions has been to broaden my scope and tell other peoples’ stories of surviving limbo, whether facing divorce, mortal threats, or any significant transitions, how we survive and thrive in the midst of ambiguity, doubt, fear and confusion, fascinates me.

It’s dreadful that I now find myself compelled to pursue this course, not by my own self-motivation but by the provocation of my closest, dearest, life-long friend living out the epitome of surviving limbo. I won’t say her name. I won’t tell her story right now (it’s just begun and she may not want it told) but tonight I’m fixated on perspective.

A wise teacher once said, “if you have a problem, you just need a bigger problem.” None of us really need that bigger problem, we just really need to recognize the potential, the frailty of our existence, the fact that we live in a state of limbo from the moment we’re born until the moment we die; the whole of our experience, at least in this incarnation, occurs in the in-between state. All unknown and rich with variables from the most exhilarating and joyous to the dreadful and agonizing. We live here, perpetually. Sometimes, that is highlighted by surprises, like an unexpected love affair, employment opportunity, or … brain tumor.

So, how we live and thrive in this overall limbo can be informed by how we live and thrive in the most challenging and traumatic limbos. These are the stories I want to explore and share in the hopes of providing insights, inspiration and perspective.

To be continued…

Photo: Miles Bitton

Sometimes it Hurts

I don’t have to tell you that sometimes it hurts. You know that.

But I want to tell you. Because it’s easy to forget that everyone struggles. It’s easy to take it personally when things fall apart. It’s easy to surmise that we are each so uniquely flawed and alone in our doubts, insecurities and suffering.

I wonder how we make this mistake, allow this delusion to disguise itself as realty—that somehow others have it easier, are loved more, feel better more often. It’s really a crock of shit. Continue reading

Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again …

Young woman with a cocktail.When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did. -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The other day, I heard a similar sentiment articulated on the radio and I wondered, am I unique in that I think this is bullshit? Continue reading

Same Shit, Different Era…

'The_Convalescent'_by_Edgar_Degas

Edgar Degas – The Convalescent (circa 1872 – 1887)

Today I visited a local museum. Most of the works of art were at least a few hundred years old, some dating back a further few hundred years. Continue reading

Uh, yeah, this guy’s gonna show us how it’s done!

Video

Nothing puts things in perspective (and can make me feel like a whiny puss) like witnessing a fellow human being overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles! If he can do this, I, you, most of us can most certainly deal with our lots.

Watch the whole thing. And get high off the inspiration! 🙂

Make Every Worry a Wish …

Woman blowing dandelion

“Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.”– Woody Allen

I made one of my resolutions early this year. After the massacre in Newtown, I made a conscious decision to count my blessings. Something internal and unconscious shifted too. Every time I felt the urge to complain or my heart raced with anxiety, an inner censor tugged at me, reminding me … life is short and I have a chance. I have my beautiful healthy children, I have my own health and resourcefulness, I have this moment and the ability to hope for the future. Those luxuries were lost for the parents and families in Newtown. Those luxuries are lost everyday for so many across the globe and right next door. Continue reading

Beyond Humbled…

I can’t shake this sense of grief and preoccupation with the unfathomable loss of the families in Newtown Connecticut.

I will deal with my divorce and my daily life. But, I can’t imagine ever believing that my problems are significant again. Continue reading