Monday, January 11, 2010

A Minor Paradox

This is one of those days when I feel sure trouble is brewing. I must have a terminal illness. My children are being covertly stalked. A financial crisis of some sort is hiding stealthily in the wings. Something monumentally important has been forgotten, and it will be my fault.

Outside the sun is too bright. This is the time of year when crap happens under the unremittingly clear winter light. And all the memories of crap that has happened at this time of year slinks out of their hidey holes to remind me of the insecurity of all we hold dear.

The other night I dreamed that a crab attacked me. You wouldn’t think that a crab could be so menacing, but it kept coming after me. When I woke I first thought it was a very strange thing to dream about – why a crab? Then I thought of the astrological sign featuring a crab – Cancer.

This makes me think of how much I would prefer to not die. Ever. I like being around. If I have to die, I would like it to be of old age, and not after a punishing dose of chemotherapy, like my mom, or in a nasty auto crash, like my nephew.

I’ve got an investment now. I want to see my grandchildren. I want to see all the medical, scientific, and technological advances that the future will bring. It’s been very exciting so far. Every year brings some advance I’m glad I lived to see, or book, film, or song that I can’t believe the world did without.

I don’t find heaven more appealing than here. I’m lucky that heaven is pretty much here on earth for me, and it’s one of my besetting sins that I don’t make it so for others who know nothing of heaven on earth.

So there you have it. On the one hand I’m weary and pessimistic; on the other I rejoice that the world is turning and I’m still here to enjoy the rotation.


  1. i know, right?!? such keen observations. i too worry about trouble a'brewin' at this time of year! great post.

  2. At 52, almost 53 years old, all of that crap has come true in my life. and sometimes I really do think that life on the other side is better than this. But still, here I am. Someday, maybe, I'll think it's all been worth it.

    I hope you feel that way now, and often. That, really it is all worth it.

  3. I always thought crabs were really cool - come on you do like Sebastian the Crab in the Little Mermaid. I guess it takes courage to see past the "crap in life" to see the "perils". I ponder dying often and what it will be like and how much I will miss my children and even future generations. My greatest fear is my grandchildren and great-grandchildren may not keep the greatest Proverb ever, "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". But, G-d is faithful and truly our life and death depends on His timing.

  4. I think this time of year is tailor made for reminiscing.
    The short days,and generally dismal weather tend to make us dwell on things a bit too much.
    I do beleive in an after life,and as much as i would like to hang around,I won't mind going into that good night.

  5. Sounds like you basically appreciate what you have now, which is so important - because life can end or turn into something with very limited joy left to it in an instant.

    But about that "crab," I'd say not to worry. I've been bitten big time - going on year 17 of an incurable, progressive and severely disabling illness - but after going through some rough years, I came out the other side with peace and intergrity intact.

    So A) the crab may never happen to bite you (i.e., you die in your sleep in old age or at least relatively fast!) and B) if it does, you're probably way stronger than you know now.

  6. You took the words right out of my mouth as always, BA.

    I was asked once (and I’m paraphrasing here), "If you believe in heaven, why don't you just kill yourself? You'd get there faster." What the person didn't know was that at the time I had some serious doubts about my faith in G-d and the Bible's "heaven."

    Some people are natural skeptics. I like to think I'm a natural doubter. I take information, feed it into my brain, process and analyze it. If I don't believe, I leave it at that. If I do believe, I'm susceptible of wavering whenever life becomes harder than usual. If I were younger, this might be a problem. Now that I'm a little older, it’s just fact.

    Either way, I believe in G-d without a doubt and I know that I love him, but other than that it's pretty much a coin toss.

    P.S. Verification word = teetlesa, which made me laugh.