Thursday, November 21, 2013

Is Suffering A Choice?

Let's face it- I am in a low spot. And at this point in my life I can't tell if it's mind or body or both or simply cosmic forces. You'd think I'd be able to figure that out after all these years of life on the planet in his particular body, with this particular mind but no, not really.

And quite frankly, I am tired of hearing myself whine and moan and I am certain that everyone else is too. I open my mouth and I feel as if my mother is speaking, borrowing my tongue.
"I hurt. I'm in pain. I suffer."

The boys are coming over in a little while. They will be here for the day.
I don't want to be remembered for my suffering. That brings nothing but guilt and deep feelings of inadequacy. There have been so many family patterns for which I have wanted to stop the buck here.
Do you know what I mean?
Is that even possible?

I don't know. I don't know shit today. Except that the boys are coming over for the day and I want to be the best MerMer for them that I can be. I want to be the best I can be for all of my family. I want to be a joy to them, not a constant nag and ache which becomes, eventually, their own.

I try to tell myself that yes, it's been a very hard year. That so much has happened, both good and bad, that it is going to take some time to incorporate it all. And that word, doesn't the root come from the Latin for body? To take it all in to the body? And wouldn't that necessarily be a process and sometimes, a painful one?

There. That helped. To think of that. To think of this lowness of spirit and pain of body as simply a completely normal and necessary part of taking-in. But will there be an ending to it? Will there be a breaking-through, a cessation or at least easing of symptoms? Will I ever be able to move forward?
I have to.
To not do otherwise is simply unacceptable.

Well, that's enough for now. Time to move forward in the small ways I can, to make the bed, to eat some breakfast, to get ready for this day. The sun seems to be trying to break through.

Here's a poem that our Beloved Miss Sarcastic Bastard sent me just now. It's a good one. I think it addresses suffering and how we are not required to participate.
I think.

Permission Granted

You do not have to choose the bruised peach
or misshapen pepper others pass over.
You don't have to bury
your grandmother's keys underneath
her camellia bush as the will states.

You don't need to write a poem about
your grandfather coughing up his lung
into that plastic tube—the machine's wheezing
almost masking the kvetching sisters
in their Brooklyn kitchen.

You can let the crows amaze your son
without your translation of their cries.
You can lie so long under this
summer shower your imprint
will be left when you rise.

You can be stupid and simple as a heifer.
Cook plum and apple turnovers in the nude.
Revel in the flight of birds without
dreaming of flight. Remember the taste of
raw dough in your mouth as you edged a pie.

Feel the skin on things vibrate. Attune
yourself. Close your eyes. Hum.
Each beat of the world's pulse demands
only that you feel it. No thoughts.
Just the single syllable: Yes ...

See the homeless woman following
the tunings of a dead composer?
She closes her eyes and sways
with the subways. Follow her down,
inside, where the singing resides.


  1. Oh dear Ms Moon. I am in a sort of similar spot but no boys are coming to visit me, sigh. I am giving myself a day of nothing, just watching weird and wonderful things like this

    Hope you'll feel a bit better in a while.

  2. You are a joy to me, let me tell you. Actually, you are a grace. Thanks for the nod to my poorly updated blog. Sorry in advance to anyone who visits. Laugh.

    Your realization about incorporate and the body was a very wise one.

    I love you TONS,


  3. Your words about not wanting to be remembered for what you THINK helped me because I feel the same way. But I see that what YOU THINK is certainly not how I would remember you from what you share on your blog and you do share your aches and pains and when you feel low. You also share your joys and your boys and your love and goodness. It is the real ness that I am drawn to and I think many others are as well. I hope I don't offend you when I say that I think you need to challenge your thinking because in my opinion, your thinking on this is not reality. Sweet Jo. And by the way, I am challenging a lot of my own thoughts these days too.

  4. That is a beautiful poem, thank you for sharing it.
    I'm sorry it's so hard right now. :-( You've been through a lot this year, be gentle with yourself.

  5. This time of year I turn into the biggest grump in the universe and I feel so entitled to feel this way. I attune myself to feeling put upon and I follow "her" down to where the whining resides and I don't want anyone to tell me to look at it this bright and pretty way. I want to feel what I feel. Good and/or bad.
    To do otherwise is simply unacceptable.

  6. "Cook plum and apple turnovers in the nude," that's awesome! Reminds me of the warning "Do not cook bacon in the nude, ever!"

    I love that you don't try to sugarcoat your shit. You're so damn real and that is just my most favorite thing about you. And your use of the word "fuck." I enjoy that as well.

    Do yourself a favor today and sit with the boys and go on YouTube and watch videos of babies laughing. It will be the best thing for you, I promise.

  7. That poem! May it be so...
    And there's this to cheer your day as well.,34623/

  8. It's a tough season in a tough year for you. I think this was a year of watersheds for so many of us, in different ways. Feel what you feel. Say it out loud. We're here with you. And we don't wear out. We wear in, get closer, love you more and more, send love to encircle you. So say what you feel. Let it out. Our arms can hold you and want to. Hugs, sweet woman.

  9. Dearest Mary-Amen to all you write. Within suffering is a bit of sweet and so forth. I think our suffering softens us and can make us more compassionate. In your honesty is an ocean of grace. For us all.

    X Beth

  10. Oh my. Thanks for sharing that perfect poem. I'm going to read it over and over until I have absorbed it into my veins.
    Can so relate to your day. suffering sucks. Sometimes it feels like a choice. Sometimes I suspect others believe it is a choice. Sometimes I just want to throw it off, like it was a choice.

  11. I saw that poem and thought of you, too, and of me. And so it goes.

  12. That is an impressive poem. I'm always buying the deformed vegetables because I feel sorry for them.

    Needless to say, I'm sorry you don't feel well. For what it's worth, I love coming to your blog and reading about your life. The overall tone of your writing always strikes me as positive and humorous, not dark or whiny. I suspect that funny, positive person is the real you, beneath the momentary pain. You may scoff at that, but I think it's true.

  13. Oh my. Your words pierced my heart, because I know what you mean, about stopping the buck, about choosing to be different than the pull of genetics and memory. It's easier to conceptualize than to accomplish though.

    Will there be a breaking through? I like to hope so. You made me think of the book New Passages, which I started reading years ago and need to revisit. I remember the notion that there are necessary narrows we pass through in mid life that lead us to the next voyage.

    Wishing you safe passage, and thanks so very much to you and SB for the poem, which I will read again and again.

  14. This was the year that I realized I am getting old. It was a year of death and dying. And it did take a toll. I am slowly regaining my spirit but it has taken time. And each day is another day forward.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.