Anicca Down the Rabbit Hole
The latest issue of “Shambala Sun” (September 2014) has an article about Gina Sharpe, an Afro-Euro-Asian Buddhist lady. She was talking about the concept of impermanence to a questioner and she said that you can tell yourself 150,000 times that everything is impermanent, yet that doesn’t mean that you understand it in your gut.
I wish I had that kind of emotional distance from the concept of impermanence. In the past month, Barry’s sponsor and therapist died. My garbage disposal was replaced. I had $3k work done on my car. My TV got replaced. I saw what pitiful health my oldest brother is in due to his drinking. (Happy Fourth of July!) Let’s not forget me watching my local economy die for the past few years. And, even today, I saw someone today for the first time in a long time. He had just had a triple by-pass and, without it, would have been dead by today.
Impermanence is kicking my butt. I can almost handle it, until…people start demanding that I live in their parallel universes and get offended when I refuse. For example, my brother’s wife is always telling me how bad diet pop is for you, with their chemicals, artificial sweeteners, etc. This is at her house, while her husband, my brother, is drinking beer! Diet pop=bad. Beer (a Class 1 carcinogen) =okay. Seriously? Taking away the alcohol might bring down the party is my only guess. She doesn’t want diet pop in her house, but can have a case of beer in the fridge. I am the exact opposite. I have had zero alcohol in my house ever, but Barry (a cancer survivor!, and eight years older than my brother) drinks a caffeine-free diet pop every day of his life. Perhaps my brother would be in better health if he had drank more pop and less beer.
What can I do? Part of me wants to be part of my family, but I would rather be sane. It takes too long to climb out of that rabbit hole. I go to their house once a year and can barely handle that.
Things change and I can deal with that fairly well most of the time. What I seem incapable of dealing with is the pretense of things never changing. Anicca I get…It’s the concept of permanence that utterly baffles me.