Friday, November 20, 2015

Life changes in the instant

It has been a week of contrasts. Going on the boat for a few days did as it was intended, putting my mind at ease and getting me into a relaxed groove that has lasted for several days.

And then last night, I happened to read on line more hatred spewed about the refugees fleeing from Syria and ISIS.  The amazing number of fearful people here in the U.S. who worry that they will be targeted makes me wonder how any of them get out of bed, get on the highway and drive to a job.  There are so many things that can take our life at any moment.  And yet we seem to be utterly terrified at the prospect of people from another country taking asylum in this country. It is baffling to me.

I heard last night that a friend just found out that he has kidney cancer and will undergo surgery in three days to remove one of his kidneys.  His wife was in Africa and flew home to be with him. And so as Joan Didion wrote: "Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant." This week has been one of lives being changed in an ordinary instant. And all that I can do is go about my life, keeping my days as usual as possible, reaching out to those who are having problems.  And loving as best I know how.

I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave's a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that's what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.Joan Didion


  1. Thank you for sharing this Syd. I'm completely baffled and disheartened at the lack of compassion and humanity, even among my close friends and relatives, as they are consumed with fear over allowing refugees into America. I feel it is a moral imperative for us to help those fleeing Syria due to the destruction of their homes, livelihoods, and life as they knew it. The only answer I have right now is the serenity prayer.

  2. I am beyond disheartened at what I hear on the news from people about the refugees. Many of the same people spewing the fear and hatred are the ones defending the rights of people not competent to own firearms and shoot up our cities.

    Sorry to hear about your friend. It is true we must live to enjoy today for we do not know what tomorrow brings.

  3. So true Syd -- carpe diem!

    And fear is like a disease that distorts everything and leads people to lose their basic sense of humanity, compassion, generosity.

  4. Once again you mimic my thoughts, Syd. Those poor refugees now have even less to look forward to thanks to the fear mongers. France is the one that was hit so hard and yet they have not closed their doors. I am ashamed at the hatred being spouted so freely here in our country.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.