In the midst of aches in the joints, anxiety over the payment of bills, concern for the safety of those you love, envy of the rich, fear of robbers, dog-weariness at the end of a long day, and the unacceptable slipping away of youth, there does occasionally appear, like a ray of light piercing the clouds, a moment of joy. Perhaps you have entered the house and sat down before removing your boots. A friend has pressed a drink into your hands, and is telling you the latest news. You see from his face that he's glad you've come in; and you are glad too. Glad to be sitting down, glad of the warming glow of the dirnk, glad of your friend's furrowed brow and eager speech. For this moment, nothing more is required. It is in its way unimprovable. This is what I mean by the Great Enough.
Perhaps love is a minor madness. And as with madness, it's unendurable alone. The one person who can relieve us is of course the sole person we cannot go to: the one we love. So instead we seek out allies, even among strangers and wives, fellow patients who, if they can't touch the edge of our particular sorrow, have felt something that cuts nearly as deep.
Let me put it this way: You cannot live in the world without being in pain, spiritual and physical pain. We have developed mechanisms to deal with these pains, to overcome them somehow. Therapy, religion and spirituality, relationships, material success. All this can work, but also become a problem itself. The pursuit of happiness has even been put into the American constitution a couple centuries ago. Today we're so rich, we own much more than we need, we have liberties unknown before, even though they are endangered in the current political climate in the US - and we forget how wonderful it nevertheless is, compared to most other political and economic systems. We have a saying that goes: Give a man enough rope and he hangs himself.
I'm so tired.Once, I wanted to watch the floods coming into a canyon, to stand on the edge and see it happen, on ground that was safe but shaking. I thought, Now I think it might be a terrifying, bright relief to stand on the canyon floor and see the wall of water coming down, and to know and before you could even complete the thought, you would be swallowed, and whole.