Thursday, June 21, 2012

It's a hard knock life

One of my friends on facebook posted one of those pictures with a saying on it. Normally I find them all fairly cheesy, but this one kinda floored me. It was a picture of a piece of coal and a beautiful diamond. The writing said something to the equivalent of "A diamond is just a rock that handled stress really well."

Lately I've been thinking a lot about painful and stressful experiences. How they shape us and why they are necessary or trying to figure out if they really are. Pain. Hurt. Suffering. None of these are things you want to experience, but it's only when we go through situations that are painful that we really get the light. At least it's that way for me. I don't get the value of things until I learn how hard it was to make it possible. For example, you work. At the end of a two week period you get paid a certain amount. Then you go to the store to spend the money, but you think a bit harder when buying things because you want whatever you buy to be worth the long hours at work. Get it? It's the same with pain and suffering.

And lately, I'm discovering there will be more pain and suffering the more you devote yourself to that something or someone. That's the problem with being vulnerable.

I performed a monologue once that was about someone who'd become very jaded towards this problem of life. It was from Seascape with Sharks and Dancer by Don Nigro...

When you were little did your parents always keep giving you 
these animals and things, like they thought you looked like 
you had to have something to be grabbing onto all the 
time or you'd fall over or blow away or something?....not just like 
cats and dogs but also a pregnant raccoon and two ducks 
named Mickey and a deflowered skunk and a chicken named 
Arnold and all kinds of things like that. They were really dumb. 
Not the animals, my parents. Well, you know how dumb they 
are. And the house we lived in was too close to the road, and 
what happens when you live to close is that all of your animals 
get splattered always on the road, and your brothers are 
always having to go out with a shovel and scrape them off 
and take them someplace to bury. And sometimes if they're 
all squashed but not quite dead you brother has to hit them 
with the shovel until they stop screaming or quacking or 
squawking or whining or meowing as the case may be. And 
giving them names makes it worse but I loved to and I couldn't 
help it and I did and when they got squashed then it wasn't just 
the cat or the duck it was somebody with a name that you'd 
lived with and slept with and talked at and listened to and fussed 
over and took care of and accepted you and then it was the mess 
that was left on the road. And after the last one was squashed 
which was a small bowlegged Persian kitten named Clarence aged 
six months who was sort of dumb and loved me a lot and never 
wanted any more than to just be alive and play with some piece of 
string or something, after that last one I made my stupid parents 
promise me they would never get me another thing that was 
alive because I had figured out what was true and still is true 
that there is no excuse and no way ever to make up for the 
millions and millions and millions of innocent betrayed and squashed 
up dead, and nobody's parents and nobody's God was ever going 
to be able to explain that to me and make it all right, and the only 
way not to go crazy if you had the misfortune to be a compulsive 
namer and lover was if you never hooked yourself up with 
splatterable things then it can never be your fault for needing them 
and having them because if you don't give you can't hurt and you 
don't get guilty because you can't betray if you never gave to 
begin with. Doesn't that make sense to you? It does make sense. It does.

At the time I understood the monologue and did my best portraying how the character felt, but I feel like I could give such a stronger portrayal now, because I am struggling between becoming like this girl or continuing to stay vulnerable to whatever life may bring.
We all have to deal with this from time to time. More times than not I'm shouting for Team Vulnerable to win, but lately, I'm wondering if becoming hardened to the world wouldn't be easier...
Yes as enticing as not feeling the pain and never attaching myself to "splatterable things" sounds. I would not only be ridding myself of the painful experiences, but it would also make the joyful ones mediocre and flat compared to how they really feel when I am living fully alive. This is what stops me time and time again from becoming jaded. 

And again I have to turn back to the law of truth, that pure joy is worth the pain it sometimes takes to get.

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