Thursday, June 24, 2010


"And you think God isn't? You think He can't appreciate tragedy and horror? Life, with all its miseries and joys, is a story---or rather a Story---with God as the listener, and we mortals as the plot. Doesn't it make sense? And doesn't it explain why we can't keep the Bone for more than a moment, why the dream has to end so another can begin? Who could enjoy a Story where everyone was perfectly happy?"

"Crazy," said Luther, after this speech. "I was right. You philosophers are all crazy. I pity you, if that's what you think of God."

For a third time, Ruff would have laughed if he could.

"Pity me?" he said, crunching a chicken bone contentedly. "No, don't waste pity on me. The lesson of Everydog, the meaning of life, whether you believe it or not... it holds me up, elevates me. In the most terrible of times, with everything turned against me, I can marvel at the knowledge that my struggle is part of the Story. And I still suffer, that's part of the Story too, but the suffering is balanced by wonder... and my times of happiness become even more wonderous.

"No, don't pity me. Pity those who can't understand the Romance of the Bone, can't see the purpose behind the up-and-down plot of their lives... pity yourself, if you can't, other dogs if they can't, or cats, or sparrows, or Oh the beasts of the field, or even the Masters.

"Yes... even the Masters."

- Matt Ruff, Fool on the Hill

I've been in a funk for several days over my sedentary self. Common stress relievers like reading and writing and getting out of the house on a good walk with Bean and yes, running, are all off the list of possibilities because they are on the NO NO list.

The Wallowing Fret keeps me circling the drain.

Then I started thinking about the above passage from Fool on the Hill. I was in the midst of re-reading it when Whimsy Moving Restrictions took residence. I went back to look at that passage just a little bit ago, and this one:

Yet George's despair did not remain pure for very long. Even in Hell, common sense and optimism sometimes find a voice. -Matt Ruff, Fool on the Hill

And here's where I'm going to push it--- push myself to find common sense and optimism. But I need your help. I have tried to figure out what this whole extravaganza is supposed to teach me, and I just draw a big fat BLANK. I don't get it, don't understand it, and quite frankly, don't think I have the capacity to process it right now. So if you're willing, can you help a Whimsy out?

Take a turn to tell me a platitude. Tell me that I'm supposed to slow down or that I'm supposed to learn to appreciate my health. You just can't repeat something that someone else already said. The comment that I like the best will recieve a special blog post DEDICATED TO THEM. Like, with nice stuff said... and stuff.


(And if this post doesn't generate some comments I may have to bury myself in a very deep hole.)


(I was being funny in the above parenthetical. Like, sarcastic funny. Not bitter and dark.)


Pickles and Dimes said...

I think that when we're at our lowest, that's when our thoughts boil down to basic survival mode and we focus on the bare minimum we need to be happy.

When J. and I were living through our Year of Good Things Happening Only to Others, it really made us realize what was important: our marriage, our crazy pets, our friends. And it made us realize what we're no longer willing to deal with on a daily basis: unnecessary work stress, long-ass commutes, toxic friends, etc.

Now we're working toward eliminating those things as much as we can and we feel better because we're taking action rather than just retelling our complaints to each other every day. (Although my only solution to my commute and work stress so far is some farfetched solution of, "Let's move to Arizona.") lame advice is to clearly focus on what you REALLY want out of life: what you want to keep and what you want to chuck. And then try to make it happen.

(This is the lamest advice ever - sorry!)

Rose said...

I think you're supposed to learn that your self-worth is NOT determined by your skills and abilities. You are a daughter of God and have great worth, regardless of what you are able (and unable) to do.

Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. -Doctrine and Covenants 18:10

Sibley Saga .... said...

Whenever I get into a funk I go into the mode of looking around at others and their problems and thinking, "At least I don't have THAT problem."

For example, I work with people who are in kidney failure which drastically affects what they can and cannot eat. Since they are on dialysis they have to be careful what they eat as the machines can only filter out so much potassium, etc. I actually had a patient cave and eat a bowl full of beans and chile and ended up in the ER because his potassium was through the roof and nearly stopped his heart. Don't forget that this is the Southwest and these are the foods that they were raised on so it seems twice as hard as the average kidney patient. So-at least you don't have a health problem that directly affects your favorite food. It's a little lame, but it works for me sometimes.

My second piece of advice comes from the fact that I'm familiar with what it feels like to have parts of your body betray you. I won't go into the wierdness of having a bone disease that affects muscle funtion and just focus on the fact that I have only one functioning vocal cord. Pretty much all of 2006 was the year that I could barely talk and when I did I sounded like a laryngitis patient. It made it hard to be at social functions as a single adult because I tended to get passed over quickly in conversations. Not many want to go to the effort of talking to 'wheezy girl'. Sometimes I had to take in a huge breathe, as if I was about to blow down one of the three pigs houses, in order to get out a few sentences. I have since had a few surgeries that have helped immensely and I only loose my voice every once in a while. I had to learn the art of taking an inventory of the parts of my body that DID work and be grateful for those. It's another lame attempt but it works. I am truly grateful that MY kidneys work so I can eat my beans and chile. I am truly grateful that my mind is still working because there were some times during my hospital stays that cognitive function was definitely questionable.

Lame stuff-but it's worked for me in the past.

Chelle said...

I had this beautiful, way-too-long, feel-good blurb that would surely lift and delight you. Unfortunately, Blogger hates me; when I submitted it w/ word verification and all, Blogger ate it for lunch.

Here's the Cliff Notes version:
* I'm a quote addict.
* Cheesy, but quotes save my life during trials.
* Can help for a broken heart, sprained ankle, car accident, baking mishap, cancer, suicide - quotes have helped me through all of this and more.
* Can be from a prophet, scripture, friend or even a favorite book - they all helped.
* James E. Faust "In the many trials of life, when we feel abandoned and when sorrow, sin, disappointment, failure, and weakness make us less than we should ever be, there can come the healing salve of the unreserved love in the grace of God. It is a love that lifts and blesses. It is a love that sustains a new beginning on a higher level and thereby continues "from grace to grace."
* Shadowlands - "Why love, if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore: only the life I have lived. Twice in that life I've been given the choice: as a boy and as a man. The boy chose safety, the man chooses suffering. The pain now is part of the happiness then. That's the deal."

What can I do? - flowers, silly magazines, chocolate, a funny book? You name it. And if you don't, I'll show up on your porch with dense, fiber cookies, and then you will be wishing that you had spoken up. :)

bzzzzgrrrl said...

I think it's OK for you to not know, while you're in the middle of this, what the lesson is.

This is likely not a helpful thing to say, but that's it.

Some lessons may come to you immediately; if "slow down" works for you, super. But it doesn't seem like that is working for you. Ooh! Or maybe you're supposed to extract more joy!

But anyway.

And some lessons come when you recover, a la "Now I appreciate my health SO MUCH MORE." Or "Seriously, I used to think I had to run THAT MUCH? Maybe I'm secretly an exercise bulimic."

And some lessons will come so much later, you won't necessarily even absorb that they are the lessons of this time, like when you just somehow get better at accepting help (or being sedentary, or whatever) but don't realize that it's because you got practice now. Or when the fire extinguisher is SO MUCH CLOSER to the stove than it used to be, and that's imperative in THAT MOMENT, and you've forgotten that it's because, right now, you weren't able to reach for it.

Or maybe you will emerge from this being more content to just observe the things that happen to and around you, and not assume you are supposed to miraculously make sense of all of them all the time.

Crap. That all sounds judgey. I wasn't trying for judgey. I was trying for lots of options, any of which might be an example, none of which are suggestions that THIS IS YOUR REAL PROBLEM. Because I know neither your whole self nor your current predicament enough to assess that.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Oh, or hey, maybe it's a sex thing. Is it possible the lesson is sex-related? You might consider some trial-and-error there, within your current limitations.

Bird said...

I couldn't fit it all into a comment so I wrote you a post.

Sara Hammond said...

I know you know you have a wonderful husband. Does he know what a wonderful wife he has? I know this is kind of self-promoting to think this way, but maybe the lesson isn't for you. Maybe you are the vehicle through which somebody else is going to learn something really important. Many prayers for you.

Bethsix said...

May I just say that it SUCKS to have been out of town for this post because GAH, there are seven people ahead of me with great things to say that I probably wouldn't even have THOUGHT of, and I am restricted from saying any of those same things.

So... I fully believe the whole whatever about the things not killing us making us stronger. Beyond that, I really have nothing. I don't think there's a lesson in everything. I think you can PULL lessons out of everything (much like extracting joy), but that requires motivation that you probably don't have at this point. It will be easier when you're past it. And you WILL get past it.

I should probably be a motivational speaker.

Chadillac said...

Here I am a day late and a dollar short. I don't consciously know that I have any platitudes to give. I say consciously because I imagine I might say (or write) one without knowing it because we as humans tend to be full of those. I would say I don't think this whole mess is supposed to teach you something necessarily. You may just have to endure it. I can almost gaurantee (sp? I'm getting the red squiggly line. How come I can spell gaurantee?) that in the future this little experience will come into play somehow. And what or how will that be? When you find out won't that be a pleasure? And a surprise? That's about all I have. I have one more question for you; have you asked for a blessing from your wonderful husband? Now I must join my wonderful wife who is watering the flowers.