Over the past few weeks, a lot of things have happened that have made me sad and worried and afraid.
The childhood friend who inspired my love of philosophy and influenced the course of my life passed away too young.
The cat who was comforting me as I learned to let go of my little boy so he can become a grown man passed away.
The computer that is the source of my livelihood as a writer crashed dramatically, followed by my husband’s computer (a.k.a. my backup computer), leaving us both in a state of high anxiety just as we were collecting ourselves from grief.
And then, Wednesday, Fain had a partial seizure*. I watched helplessly as my son went limp and slumped over. I shook him and called out his name in terror as his eyes glazed over. He was unresponsive for minutes that seemed like hours. I’ve never been more afraid in my life.
By the time we were in the doctor’s office, he was his same old goofy, laughing self, cracking jokes that nobody got while Jack and I tried to keep it together with the meager strands of emotional equity we had remaining.
I got him home and tucked him in Jack’s berth so I could lie across from him and stare at him all night. The three of us ate dinner in bed and talked about THE DARK WEB and picked on each other and laughed, same as we’d done Monday night after a ceremony for our dearly departed cat. We found comfort together, the way we always do.
When Fain fell asleep, I let myself cry inconsolably, and I went through all the anxieties and questions that people do on a Wednesday night that feels like five Mondays too many. Why are all these bad things happening all at once? Did I do something wrong? Have all of my life choices been wrong? Am I being punished for some recent or long-since-forgotten sin? Is my child being punished for something I did? Did my cat die because I’m a bad person?
At some point, some part of my brain realized how absurd those questions were. Do I believe that children fleeing from war torn cities are being punished for some misdeed perpetrated at the innocent age of five or, worse, that they’re receiving second-hand justice for a crime committed by their parents? No. I don’t. Do I believe horrible people who do horrible things and live lives of luxury and prestige are being rewarded? No. I don’t believe that either. Does any wicked thought I thunk this week even rank in the top 100 evil deeds of the year? Certainly not.
Sometimes, a lot of bad things happen at once. Sometimes, things get scary, and the scary comes from fifteen different places at once. For no reason.
But then again.
Most days, I wake up healthy and have the materials on hand to cook up a delicious bowl of Proletarioats for my family. Most days, my son is the picture of smirking teen sass and slouchy swagger, without a care in the world. Most days, my husband is working diligently on restoring a boat for us out of pure love. Most days, I’ve got steady work and big plans for novels and art projects and future trips around the world. Most days, all is well.
And I hardly ever stay up all night marveling at that. I hardly ever think: what in the world have I done to deserve all this?
So here’s the buoyant thought. This week, things went awry. They went awry Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday, etc. But for a solid 355 days before, things were probably pretty swell, and I was hardly even paying attention.
Maybe sometimes a solid truckload of completely happenstance manure has to be dropped on your front lawn to make you realize that you’ve got a pretty nice lawn, and manure hardly ever hurts anything and can do a lot of good. Though it’s generally preferable if it’s spread around a little more thinly.
For now, if you pray, we welcome your prayers. If you vibe, we welcome your good vibes. If you just love us, we welcome that, too. Fain is well. We are well. Things are continuing to move forward aboard the Shanti. We’re hanging in there and appreciating what we have more than ever, including your friendship and encouragement.
* The doctor believes the seizure was probably a perfect storm of random events. He’d had a cold last week. We’d just suffered a painful loss. He was stressed about a pending flight. He’d lost his glasses and gone without them for several days, causing eye strain. It was probably a fluke event, but he’ll be visiting a neurologist just to be safe.