Having Something To Look Forward To…

… might just be everything.

Having something to look forward to means you have hope.  And when you have hope, your concern is focused on something positive that’s coming your way.  Your outlook is bright (or in the very least there’s a bright crest of something on the horizon), and for a moment you’re cured.

I have something right now that I’m looking forward to.

No, I have two things.  No three things!

1) The bowl of kale & quinoa & who-knows-what-else soup that just finished warming up that I suspect is going to be really good (but might need a bit more cayenne).

2) Going running with my friend after eating said soup and writing this sentence (and hopefully a few to follow so I feel like I’ve accomplished something today).

3) The original thing I was thinking about, and referring to above, which I may or may not reveal at this very moment…

Moo hoo ha ha ha!  Not to get all suspensey (even though I’ve learned how well that trick works— human beings are suckers for temporary punishment in their entertainment [emphasis on the temporary]) but…

I’m looking forward to something.  A lot.  I’m excited about it, in fact.

And that makes me cured, right now at this very moment.  Cured of despair or depression, of the veil and the fog and the cancer and the fear.

All because I have something to look forward to.

What an affordable cure, looking forward: it doesn’t cost a damn thing!  And I suspect it may do the trick for things other than brain cancer: things like depression or rheumatoid arthritis or whatever-it-is-that-ails-you.

I suspect it’s a bit of a Free-Cure-For-All!

So find something to look forward to, if you don’t already have one.

And if you know about and care for someone who needs a cure (for anything), help them find something to look forward to.  Give it to them, if you can.  If you can’t, then help them find it.  And help them keep it in sight (because that’s an utterly crucial aspect of this whole trick as well).

I read an article not so long ago that’s really stuck with me, about an older man in a terrible state of health who knew the end was coming and who nonetheless steadfastly refused to give up or even slow down.  He lived to the end and he loved it (and was loved for it).  And all because he had something to look forward to.

Remarkable how powerful that can be.

And so I gave myself something to look forward to, even though I was scared (and still am scared) that it wasn’t going to happen.  And you know what?  I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but I’m going to try, and I’m looking forward to it, and it’s putting the wind in my sails right now.  Right at this very moment.

I hope it happens.
I hope, I’m cured.
(When I have hope, I am cured.)

Gotta run!

– Chad

PS: this kale & quinoa & who-knows-what-else soup is really good.  And it did need a bit more cayenne.
PPS:  And now that I’m finished gulping this soup down I’ve gotta run (literally), so I can get back to that 3rd thing I’m looking forward to.
PPPS:  Here’s the aforementioned cat, out of the temporarily imposed bag:  #3 is something I’m writing.  Right now.  After I’m done with this post & this soup & this run.  It might be a musical.

It’s good to be busy.
It’s good to have things to do.
It’s good to have things to look forward to.

PPPPS:  Physically & mentally, I’m also feeling a lot better these days, thanks for asking.
(Because a lot of you have asked, so thanks.)
The medications have been cut down, and I’m far enough away from the trauma of chemo/radiation/havingmyentireworldshattered that I’m starting to feel like… shhhhhhhh don’t tell anybody!
(A normal human being again!?)
I did almost have a smoothie yesterday, but that was only because of a mixup with my medication, and who’s afraid of smoothies anyway?  Sometimes they make you SING!

Finding Meaning in Suffering, and Beauty in Death

THERE’S A WEIGHT TO ALL OF THIS, to being so close to death so unexpectedly, that in terms of the absolute value of experience is far beyond anything that I’ve experienced so far in my life.  It out-joys the most profound happiness, it out-hurts the most intense pain; it’s simply bigger and heavier than anything and everything else that’s come before it.

And it is just that absolute value– the distance between the intensity of this experience and the dullness of everyday mundanity (with no reference to its positive or negativeness)– that makes me almost enjoy it.  You almost become addicted to it, in the sense that you could never go back to feeling the way you used to about the world before everything around you was framed in terms of The Ultimate of Ultimates.  Like tasting ice cream once and never having it again, you’d always know that there’s something bigger lurking that puts everything else you previously knew and typically experience to shame.

And in this case that “it” is death.  The ultimate trivialiser, which creates a prism through which all my senses, both physical and emotional, must now pass through.  I can no longer love, without thinking about loving no more.  I can no longer taste, without thinking about tasting no more.  I can no longer say, or see, or feel, without knowing that all of those sensations may be the very last instance of each.

The incessant profundity in that– the immense weight now attached to just going out for a walk (because you might never come back) or saying goodbye to a friend (because you may never see them again) or listening to a song (you get the idea)… it’s indellible.  Inescapable.

And, ultimately, so unrelentingly interesting.  Thank god, that to me all of this is so interesting.  Because otherwise it’s just suffering.  Because suffering is a perpetual stain on the ease of normal experience.  And a stain, by definition, ruins.  It detracts.  It makes partial or lesser something that was once perfect and whole.

But if you’re able (or even better, naturally inclined) to see a stain not as a mistake, but as an aberration, a difference from the norm yes, but not necessarily a negative one… if you’re able to see that even a stain has its own inherent qualities, and perhaps even its own potential for beauty, then there can be meaning in suffering.  There can be beauty in death.

And sometimes– in fact, for me oftentimes– there is exactly that.

For example: I am nothing if not lucky that my brain is wired in such a way that it can be fascinated by the very thing that is attempting to destroy it.

Imagine that.  There is, very clearly, a profound beauty in that.

I can see it.