Sometimes it feels like a loss of faith. Not faith in any particular thing, because I did not start out with faith in a god or a system or a plan. I have been an optimist, but no Pollyanna. I am not at all sure that everything will turn out just fine, and I am damn sure things don't happen for a reason. And if you tell me about god's plan one more time....
No, it's more like a loss of faith in the point of it all. I know that sounds very depressed (and depressing), but that's not how I mean it, believe it or not. There is in me the sense of the foundation somehow having been shaken. I know that the political climate in the U.S. and in the world has something to do with it. I have a deep belief in the efficacy of kindness and reasoned thought, but neither of these are much in evidence in the world these days. It's almost as if the majority of people see this as the end times and feel that unless they give their maximal energy to anger and vindictiveness right now, disaster cannot be averted. What they do not seem to realize is that it is the anger that is the cause of the destruction rather than its cure. And I see this from every direction in America's political divide, a nastiness that subsumes and consumes everything in its path.
I also had an experience recently which shook my faith in my marriage. It was a minor tremor, really, but it caused me to realize just how much of my well-being is tied up in the health of that connection. I'm not so sure this is healthy. Because it will end, of course. That is the central lesson of the Dharma, that all things end. Love is a guarantee of loss, because either the relationship will end or one or the other of you will die. Ha! That sounds awfully grim, I know, but is the simple reality of such things. And to have a little off-handed, casual comment cause such tremors in me is pretty frightening. On the other hand, if this is a wake-up call to nurture and heal what we have, then so much the better.
And I know it seems petty in comparison, but some of my perturbation is that most of my technology is rebelling against me. My internet goes down periodically for no reason whatsoever (who knew that going from copper wire slow internet to fiber optic fast internet would be a problem?) and my brand new laptop has a malfunction so bad that it must be returned to the manufacturer for replacement or repair. Crazy-making.
I miss my father. He was a sweet and wonderful man. He taught me a great deal. He was a man of deep faith, and I respected that more and more the older I got, even if I did not share his belief. He died April 7.
But, what the heck! On June 11 I will be 60. I will be in Portland that day, enjoying the city and going to Sweeney Todd with my much beloved wife. We will visit gardens, hiking trails, book stores, restaurants, parks, and coffee shops. All will be well. I love my life and am very fortunate to be living it. So be it.