Archive for the 'footnote' Category

it’s okay…that’s what it is

Friday, February 17th, 2006

The other day a good friend and I were discussing suffering. Note: we also discussed, at greater length not long after, the TV show Arrested Development,* so don’t get the idea this was any kind of impressive French-cafe-philosophy-talk I’m bragging about (though he is certainly capable of that level of discussion, I’m more of the discuss-TV-shows-at-length type).

Our “suffering” discussion was rather brief. In fact, the conversation went roughly like:

“Life is suffering”
“Yeah-huh!”

My favorite part was the near glee with which, I at least, smiled after the little exchange. Don’t misunderstand, it’s absolutely true that life is painful sometimes (and I’m more than a little morose, more often than I might like), it just somehow it struck me as true and funny. Not long after, I came across this quote which seemed to put it all beautifully:

Just live that life. It doesn’t matter whether it is life or hell… it’s okay; just live that life, see. And as a matter of fact, [there is] no other way. Where you stand, where you are, that’s what your life is right there, regardless of how painful it is or how enjoyable it is. That’s what it is.

-Taizan Maezumi (1931-1995)

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footnote:
* Arrested Development is fantastically, dementedly brilliant and just now it occurs to me there is a loose correlation between being able to find the idea that life is suffering funny and appreciating that show.