Monday, November 08, 2004

Cormorant's Lament: Balancing Act

Whenever I might pause and reflect, it amazes me how similar the feeling of sadness and of happiness can seem so alike to me.

The feeling of choking on my own spit and a too-big-for-my-mouth tongue when something unfortunate has happened.

The feeling of a bubble growing inside my chest until is pushes my heart all the way into my ribcage aching from joy, like all my happiness is being crammed down my throat.

But what really makes me pause is the thought of how I can observe the enormity of a person’s loss and the only way I can justify it is to know that there is always an even greater loss to be found somewhere else on Earth.

So, we don’t think about it. At least, I try not to. I wonder if the grieving process is a process of breaking down enormity to some manageable sorrow or if it a process of forgetting.

If I was to think about it I suppose I would rage, powerless against something that I cannot fix for someone I love, someone I tend to and care for.

My friend Lina is Columbian. Once I was at her apartment, her husband cooked us dinner and her two children ran around playing. She brought out a big tin box of old photos, from her life in Columbia that she had to leave behind, after almost every boy her age in her home town was dead. The only picture I remember was a handsome young man on a motorcycle; I teased her about keeping pictures of old boyfriends now that she was married. She told me it was her first boyfriend, the one she was going to marry. She had started going out with him when she was 15, he had died when she was 18.

So she moved to Bogotá, where she met her husband.

I push some thoughts away, thoughts that would cause me to find myself ineffectual against one of the certainties of life. I worry myself about the impending crises of graduation, you know one of those luxurious worries I can afford, given as my birthright with a bit of luck thrown in.

To worry about future job security, a privilege indeed.

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