Amidst a World of Sorrow

The world seems to be conspiring to make it difficult to keep my resolution to keep a positive attitude for the next few weeks.

I’ve contacted my annual after-Christmas cold, which generally seems a small price to pay for so much Christmas cheer, a chance to play with grandchildren, and a chance to dine with relatives from far and near. I really didn’t need a cold this year, though, as I was supposed to start stockpiling blood for my upcoming surgery. As it turns out, they were afraid of me re-infecting myself after the surgery so they canceled today’s blood drawing.

That means I’m off to the doctor later today to get some medication to hopefully ensure that I’m well by next week’s donation date and that I’m as strong as possible for the end-of-the-month surgery. Hopefully I’ll even be out walking again in the next few days, though I really can’t promise that yet.

Most depressing of all, though, has been the recent tsunami disaster in Asia, added on top of all the misery that our planet already seems to be suffering. I’ve tried avoiding the pictures altogether, but have found it nearly impossible to avoid the news, the constantly rising death figures, and the ugly squabbles over whether or not America is “stingy” with its contributions to the world’s poor. Somehow when you compare our country’s offer of $35 million, even that apparently increased since the original figure was criticized, to the millions spent trying to subdue Iraq, it’s hard to pronounce us “generous.”

Perhaps I would even feel better if I could whip out my checkbook and give generously to those who have suffered so much and have so little, but, ironically enough, I have just begun to receive the bills for my cancer treatment and realize my co-pay will run into the thousands, and perhaps well more than that. What I thought was a generous saving account may well not cover my share of the hospital and doctor expenses. I know the money I need will be there when I need it, but not knowing the ultimate cost is just one more thing to worry about when there already seemed more than enough to worry about.

Amidst this vast sea of sorrow
why is it always easiest to see —
our own small vessel foundering?

6 thoughts on “Amidst a World of Sorrow”

  1. Yes, it’s hard to see beyond our own boat. If President Bush, in addition to bragging how America gives more than everyone else would just admit it’s a shame that all rich people in all rich countries don’t give more generously than they do, he’d sound less petulent and more human. Besides, it’s neither his money nor that of the rich people, it’s the people’s money he gives awy when it comes to such charity, so what he’s so fucking mad and resentful about puzzles the shit out of me!

  2. See, I’m a selfish twit myself not to remember to say that I hope you get well soon and don’t relapse. If you have to ignore a war and a disaster or two, I’ll write you a temporary hall pass and tell ’em all you’re one of the Good Guys!

  3. I hope everything works out for you and that you and your family stay safe and healthy. Your website has helped me get through some of my own difficulties so I also wanted to say thank you

  4. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself Loren. There’ll be time enough to care for others when you’re well. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

  5. Hello…..I came accross your website a few months back when I was doing an essay and really enjoyed reading what you had to say. Only today did I decide to come back and start reading regularly. I am looking forward to reading more of what you have to say and also your own work, so all the best for the new year, I hope you get better.

  6. Hi Loren,

    Have just been catching up on your blog. I have friends over in south India just now, where the local villages have been wiped out. I’ve been including their notes on my blog. They were able to get up above the water in buildings that were too strong to be knocked down, part of an ashram. The ashram is now housing and feeding and caring for the tsunami survivors. You sound like a good survivor to me. Hang in there, and thanks for all your sharing. K

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