sechan19: (tormenta)
Boy, am I glad that January is finally behind me.

It's been a rough month for me, good times with great friends (you know who you are [livejournal.com profile] foxxydancr and [livejournal.com profile] derrangedferret) notwithstanding. The stress of my first major conference presentation, the pressure of swinging back into classes after only a relatively brief hiatus, the near-constant cloud cover that plunged me into a nasty seasonal depression, and the memories - always perilously near the surface this time of year - bursting out at almost every turn.

In many cultures, the number three is imbued with mystical properties. In the ancient rites it forms the triad - the foundational base upon which powerful magics can be performed. In Christianity it signifies the unbroken trinity. In Buddhism the third month and the third year following death are important anniversaries.

This month marked the third year my uncle has been gone. )
sechan19: (butterfly)
"Even if [souls] are reborn in the heavenly realm or the realm of human beings, they undergo the pain of poverty and want, the pain of parting from loved ones, the pain of encountering those they detest--all these many different kinds of pain.  Yet living beings, drowned in the midst of all this, delight and amuse themselves, unaware, unknowing, without alarm or fear.  They feel no sense of loathing and make no attempt to escape.  In this burning house which is the threefold world, they race about to east and west, and though they encounter great pain, they are not distressed by it."
 
~ Chapter 3, The Lotus Sutra, trans. Burton Watson.
 

I guess this is the one thing about Buddhism that I just cannot get behind (leaving aside the fact that it is, like all religions, deeply misogynistic): that whole life-is-suffering thing.  The idea that life is suffering and that our goal ought to be an escape from said suffering just makes no sense to me.  No one likes to suffer, but I don't think it can be denied that suffering engenders character.  And besides that, suffering can be a mark of something very great in one's life.

Case in point:
Last night, I was watching a movie that got me thinking about my uncle.  Thinking about him caused me to suffer, and I cried.  I miss him so desperately because I loved him so much--and he's gone.  And yes, I wouldn't suffer now if I hadn't loved him so.

But where's the fun in that?

Those who're interested can undertake the (selfish?) path of evading all suffering.  For me, I'll gladly take the chaff with the wheat.

sechan19: (butterfly)
I dreamed about my uncle last night. He made fun of me, but then he always did that and I always rather liked it. It was so good to see him and to laugh with him again.
sechan19: (tormenta)
Boku no ude no naka de
kieta kimi no kioku dake ga mitsukaranai
Kimi no kakera subete hiroiatsume
boku wa doku e yukeba ii no

Deep within,
it is only memories of you, vanished, that I do not find--
where should I go
to gather up all the fragments of you?
~ Gackt, seven.

Needless to say, I'm having trouble concentrating right now; in spite of the fact that the worst has yet to come.

EDIT: The worst has come. The doctors can do nothing more for my uncle. He has decided he wants to die at home. Less than six months ago he came to my going away party and told me to show them what for in grad school. And we had no idea.

Sometimes things happen and you think there's nothing more the world could do to you, but there's always something more. The world doesn't love any of us, but supposedly it doesn't hate us either. Periodically, I have trouble remembering that.

May 2014

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