Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Shark Attack

The cure for suffering… is not to be submerged in unconsciousness, but to be raised to consciousness and suffer more. The evil of suffering is cured by more suffering, by higher suffering…. Do not close your eyes to the agonizing Sphinx, but look her in the face, and let her seize you in the mouth, and crunch you with her hundred thousand poisonous teeth, and swallow you.

Miquel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life
(cited in The Black Sun, by Stanton Marlan)


When I returned home in late February, I received the report from the Mayo Clinic. I found out that I had “severe bi-atrial enlargement”, that two of the chambers of my heart were now more than twice as large as normal. This sounded ominous to me. Once again I was scared for my life.

I had never been able to find reassurance in optimistic clichĂ©s, such as “It is always darkest….. just before dawn.” This always seemed to me to be some kind of Pollyannish self-talk that denied reality.

No, better to look Reality in the face, and have no false expectations that things will get better:

It is always darkest…. just before it gets pitch black.



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