When I had the flu this spring, hubby got up on the garage roof and proceeded to fall off onto the concrete apron in front of the garage. He is still limping and the need to take care of a sick hubby when I had the flu caused the virus to take on the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Hubby still isn’t up to doing chores, so I am stuck with more chores than I feel well enough to do.
Such is life. I wonder if everybody has these spells where everything seems to go wrong. I see some who struggle more than we do, but I see many, many more who seem to sail through life without crisis piling on top of crisis.
I don’t like the idea of Karma, which would indicate that I somehow earned the pain I am in. What horrific thing could I have done that makes it so hard for me to grow a few flowers and vegetables? If my current state of pain is due to Karma, I must be horrified that I could do something so cruel as to have earned this. I certainly do not remember any such heinous acts on my part.
Christianity gives us grace instead of Karma. We do not get what we deserve. That isn’t much help either. Okay, by grace I do not deserve the pain I face. What happens next? I am still in pain. I wonder if the medication I took will ever take hold and solve the problem. Right now, it seems to be adding anxiety to the pain. Charming.
So, at the end of the day, when the pain will not go away despite the best doctors can do and despite the best spiritual practices available, what can a soul do to find comfort amid the pain?
I really have no idea how to solve my dilemma. Each day, I get up and water the gardens and try to write. I tidy the house and make certain hubby has food. I take my medications hoping that tomorrow will be better. I am at the point where I don’t know what better would look like.
I have a horrible suspicion that my life really is what others would consider a fantasy. I suspect that many would trade their grinding routine and poverty for my pain and anxiety. It isn’t much of a trade, but I can understand the desire to be free of poverty that sucks at the soul. I understand the desire to be free of drudgery so that one can find meaning in life.
Sometimes, I think that we may be going about this whole life business from the wrong perspective. I visited a Tlingit community where the elders talked about the old life where everybody worked hard all summer to harvest and cure food for the winter. In the winter, they sang, told stories and made art. Somehow I saw more balance in the lives of those who spent half of the year making art.
I don’t know the key to finding balance in my life. Perhaps balance has something to do with living in the present, finding joy in what is immediately before me instead of longing for the gardens my imagination planted. Perhaps every day should be spent making a little art. Perhaps by rebelling against the dictates of a life of dreary toil and making art we can change the nature of our existence to include more beauty and peace.