RTTC readers have no doubt noticed the spate of posts that contain Rustin Cohle quotes from the HBO series "True Detective." Turns out - the character's world view is based in part on the work of Thomas Ligotti - who wrote a book called "The Conspiracy against the Human Race", which I am now reading and enjoying immensely.
The book is really not for everyone. I don't recommend it for your next book club meeting - but it is such a revelation to encounter a whole lineage of philosophy that is so close to my own while being much much bleaker to boot.
A comfort, really - with gems like:
And - concepts not entirely foreign to a Dharma student. In the late 80's during my first meditation classes, my teacher told us about how when he trained in Thailand - they would often be directed to go and meditate at a charnel ground and contemplate all the decaying bodies all around them. This was done to loosen their attachment to their bodies and to rub their noses in the immutable law of impermanence. And of course - the pessimist's credo above is just a hop skip and a jump from the First Noble Truth of Buddhism - Life, by its very nature is drenched in suffering or dukkha (unsatisfactoriness).
Where Buddhism and I part ways with pessimist thinkers is on the best way to deal with all of this horror. Pessimists think that humans should simply extinct themselves by ceasing to procreate. I and the rest of my Buddhist brothers and sisters think that the best way to deal with the horror and suffering of existence is kindness and compassion.
Despite the differences - it is exciting to find a whole cadre of western thinkers outside the Dharma that do not blink or avert their eyes when it comes to the nature of living.
And all this from an HBO miniseries…
From a sermon my Priest gave on 7/20/14:
From The Power of an Open Question by Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyal, a book we are studying and discussing at Cape Ann Vajra Vidya Dharma study group:
From Edward Espe Brown's dharma talk:
Three separate overlapping messages from three different traditions - Episcopalian Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism, and Japanese Zen Buddhism. All of them counsel against judging things. All counsel welcoming - even of perceived difficulties, mistakes and general life muck.
As difficult as it is to actually practice this wise counsel - messages received.
"I'd consider myself a realist, alright? But in philosophical terms I'm what's called a pessimist... I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware. Nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself - we are creatures that should not exist by natural law... We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self, that accretion of sensory experience and feelings, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everbody's nobody... "
~ Detective Rusin Cohle ~ True Detective
"Now, I, Vairocana Buddha am sitting atop a lotus pedestal; On a thousand flowers surrounding me are a thousand Sakyamuni Buddhas. Each flower supports a hundred million worlds; in each world a Sakyamuni Buddha appears. All are seated beneath a Bodhi-tree, all simultaneously attain Buddhahood. All these innumerable Buddhas have Vairocana as their original body."
- Brahma Net Sutra -
The following is from a longish interview with former environmentalist Paul Kingsworth. He understands - like so many of us do - that we are past the point of no return on this blue rock with regards to climate change. He has said so publicly and has gotten quite a bit of negative feedback from the "Save the World" and "Sustainable Living" crews. Even the interview headline in Grist.org labels Mr Kingsworth a "Climate Defeatist."
What I found most bracing in the interview was his dismissal of hope.
You can read the entire interview here:
I agree with Mr Kingsworth on two counts - one, that barring some unforeseen disruption in the way of things - carbon will continue to be pumped into the atmosphere to the great detriment of the environment and two - hope is (in general) a useless and limiting activity. I personally have been trying to give it up (with very limited results) since reading Charlotte Joko Beck's "Everyday Zen" back in 1989:
"Manjusri Painted" by John Wigham - originally posted to Flickr as Manjusri.
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
The Gospel reading at the Monday 1:00 was Matthew 10:34-37:
The preacher, a beloved brother, presented this passage as Jesus urging people to let go. Exhorting us to non-attachment. As I sat listening to him speak, my inner Bood was thrumming.
Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom came to mind. He is often depicted as holding a fiery sword which is used not to injure but to separate us from our attachments.
I just finished the third night of lectures on Tonglen. What a great experience. Lama Kathy Wesley was a lively and engaging teacher.
It was refreshing to hear so much of the Dharma spoke at me again. It was lovely to have had the luxury of listening to someone speak for six hours and never once have my brain turn to "Well - that sounds like bullshit" as happens from time to time in other traditions.
I fell in love with the Dharma when I first bumped into it at the age of eleven. Although we've been separated many times in my life - I still love it. It's hard to 'splain but it's like it fits my brain.
It feels correct - there is no struggle - natural.
"We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakable."
~ The Buddha ~
Thomas Byrom Translation
- Vedic Oms -
What H.H. does not say in the short quote above is that the student better be fucking ready to have anvils rain down upon his/her head once they start being critical.
I have no personal experience with this - but the many books written about wayward teachers are packed with accounts of whistle blowing / critical students getting a good and thorough ass-reaming for their troubles.
As the Romans used to say, "Caute procedere" kiddies.
To paraphrase something I heard recently - "Talking about meditation is like dissecting a frog. You can do it - but the frog dies."
The vast majority of my meditation experience has been in the Korean Zen tradition. Twice a day at home and then four hours on Saturdays. Saturday afternoons were four fifty minute sessions interrupted by brisk ten-minute walking meditations. Each communal session of meditation was begun and ended by the crack of a chugpi. No bells. No gongs. No music. "CRACK!!"
Beyond that - there was silence - except for the screaming in my head - the room was dead silent.
At the end of the last 50 minute meditation period - the chugpi would be clacked three times. Everyone would hobble to their feet, the zabutons and zafus stacked neatly in the corner of the Dharma hall, and everyone would wordlessly exit into the early evening.
In the last year - I've had exposure to Christian meditation. It has its similarities to Buddhist meditation - especially samadhi-style (concentration style) meditation done by either following the breath or by repeating a mantra word. I was taught to use "Bud-dho" as a mantra when first learning vipassana meditation. "Bud" on the in-breath and "dho" on the out-breath. Christian meditators in the lineage of John Main OSB are encouraged to pick a mantra word, (many choose the Aramaic word Maranatha) repeat it silently, and keep one's attention on the mantra.. very similar to Buddhist practice.
Of course - Christian practice is overlaid on top of meditation - with an opening and closing prayer. No big deal - in fact - one would expect that in a Christian setting.
The thing I find most challenging about Christian Meditation is the end part of the session that is called "the check-in" where everyone goes around the circle and describes the experience of the silence or meditation period. My Buddhist self really balks at this. We were never encouraged to talk about our experiences meditating unless we had a specific problem or question. There are several reasons for this I think.
First - we were taught to do the practice wholeheartedly and then let go of it. I mean the whole point of the thing is to be present in your life, so rehashing or retelling your experience of the last 50 minutes goes counter to living in the present. There is a story about a ThaI Buddhist Master, Ajahn Chah, who had a monk come to him during a rains retreat and say "Master - I had the most wonderful meditation ever - unshakeable concentration - deep deep concentration - serene.. "Ajahn Chah listened to all of this and said simply "Very nice - one more thing for you to let go of."
Secondly - there is always competition among humans - subtle and not-so-subtle. Describing one's meditation experience in glowing terms - even if true - sets up a competitive situation with others in the group. Now people are thinking "Well - how come she had such a great meditation and I didn't?" People can get down on themselves about having a "bad" meditation session - which by the way - is not fucking possible - a meditation period just is what it is. Not Good. Not Bad.
Thirdly - Unless you have a question about the practice or are otherwise experiencing a problem of some sort - what you think about your meditation session is beside the point. In a description or reflection or whatever you want to call it - all you'll be able to come up with is more discursive ego-driven chatter, the same kind that rattles around in your head all the live-long day. Really not helpful.
Lastly - and most insidious - is the possibility that meditation practitioners will (perhaps unconsciously) strive to describe a meditation experience that the teacher or leader approves of. This is what's known in the meditation game as "very fucking bad indeed" and usually ends with everyone landing in a very deep dark ditch.
Now, in the Christian meditation groups I've been part of - there's always the option to pass on giving a reflection. Even then though - there is a subtle unspoken group pressure to share something - like - "everyone else is sharing - why don't you?"
Obviously - I think it's a great thing that Christian folks meditate in this way which is rooted in eastern mantra practice. I'm sure folks get a lot out of it.. I encourage my Christian brothers and sisters to hold the session narratives - just let them go - simply one more thing to let go of..
"….we are usually living in vain hope for something or someone that will make my life easier, more pleasant. We spend most of our time trying to set up life in a way that will be true; when, contrariwise, the joy of our life is just in totally doing and just bearing what must be borne, in just doing what must be done."
~ Charlotte Joko Beck ~ Everyday Zen
-+- From The American Jesus: A set of guidelines given by Neil DeGrasse Tyson on living life -
A couple of points here.
First - this is simply another smaht kid cribbing Buddhism 101. Not a problem! Spreading the Dharma is spreading the Dharma. Thank you Dr Tyson.
Second - The Church is playing catch-up in this area - much to the Church's peril. Dr Tyson's advice above is considered outlier behavior in many Christian communities. Belief. Faith. Doctrinal adherence. Those are the things that carry the day. I tell you this though - without questioning, without wrestling with obvious paradoxes in the tradition, by surrendering your own intellect for a comfy list of accepted behaviors and ways of looking at the world - you become infantilized - and achieve a sort of intellectual oblivion far far more potent than the kind that can be obtained by drugs or alcohol.
-+- Also From The American Jesus:
This next post is spot on - You should really go read the whole thing. This is an expansion of what was just mentioned above - orthodoxy having precedence over orthopraxy. Beliefs being more important than love. Again - if church leaders are sweating the attendance in their vast echoing barns - they would do well to think on these things.
The fact that this post by The American Jesus is at all cutting edge saddens me.
-+- Lastly - a replay of a vid by that insurrectionist theologian, Peter Rollins.
(Thx to the Crashingly Beautiful blog - Crashingly Beautiful)
After lunch, the Teacher sat in royal ease under the shade of a tree . Gathering himself in silence, he opened his eyes and recited the following short poem for the benefit of the few disciples gathered there that day:
It is always a danger
(Poem first heard in the Dharma talk – “The Ten Thousand Idiots” – Edward Espe Brown)
Introductions were made on the Boston Common the other day. "This is Roy. He was a Buddhist too. Still is a Buddhist…"
As if the Dharma could in some way run out or leak away...
What nobody understands it seems, is that once encountered, the Dharma never really leaves you. It's never ever really gone. Trying to put it down would be like trying to leave behind the very blood that flows in through the arteries and visits every cell in the body. People also don't get that the Dharma provides tools that help make sense of Christian practice.
One topic in particular that Buddhist teachers have been especially helpful with is prayer. Specifically, how does one pray when one is not at all convinced that there even is a God in the first place? What does it even mean to engage in such activities?
I think about this a lot.
Seung Sahn Kun Sunim would have said "Don't check. Don't make anything! Put it all down! Only don't know! Go straight! Try try try for 10,000 years and save all beings." This, I think, was Sunim's way of advising practitioners against buying into the ego's constant stream of questions, demands, projections, and objection while one is trying to engage in an activity - spiritual or not. It is Dogen's advice to the cook "When you wash the rice, wash the rice." Simple - but not easy..
And of course there is this bit from Ambivialent Zen by Lawrence Shainberg that is quite helpful as well, and echoes Seung Sahn Sunim's exhortation:
"When I pray, I just pray." There have been so many occasions that memory of this has kept me in my seat when those around me were happily and confidently pouring out prayers like "We praise you and we bless you!" As soon as I hear such things along with other declaratives like "God is good!" I have to fight the urge to blurt out "By what measure is God good? and "What is meant by good?" and "Why praise Him in the first place?" Blurting, by and large, is rarely ever helpful to anyone involved, so even though they are completely unaware of it, my Christian sisters and brothers benefit as well from the Dharma because it helps me keep my mouth shut.. and just pray.
This morning, through the miracle of the intertubes and the wonderful site Meetingbrook, I came across this decidedly Buddhist-flavored poem:
"..there, every one, separately,
"When I pray, I just pray."
When they released me from MGH, my Docs told me "Just return to your life. Continue with your daily activities. Listen to your body. It will tell you if you're doing too much"
Little did they know that I'd spent a lifetime doing exactly the opposite. Ignoring pain was my preferred method of getting through the day. It's how I was was able to hobble around on a hip that, according to my orthopedic surgeon, the vast majority of people couldn't stand on - much less walk around on..
Switching modes is a challenging thing - at least for right now.. Listening to this body - this beat to shit body - is like living in a haunted house. Everything creaks and groans and shudders. Talk about noisy.. Since I am such an amateur at this body listening junk, every little thing takes on galactic importance.
Last Saturday, i woke with back pain. I convinced myself I was bleeding into my left lung and would die momentarily. I ended up calling a cardiologist at MGH. He talked me down off the ledge and helped me remember that I had moved a mattress the night before and could well have pulled a muscle.. Almost as soon as he said that - the pain started to go away.
Then - on Tuesday Meditation at the Cathedral, I was sitting quietly with my fellow meditators when I felt a flutter in my chest. Immediately - my mind went into overdrive spinning the fantasy that the flutter was more clot being pumped into my heart and that I was going to die right then and there. Because of the support of the rest of the people in the room sitting in silence, I was able to sit it out. I told myself, "Welp - if I'm going - this is a great place to do it.." Like all thoughts - like all fantasies - it passed and the meditation period ended uneventfully.
Right now I am like the Buddhist Monk Novice who, spending his first night alone in his forest hut is convinced that there is a deadly snake in the corner of his room. He spends the entire night in stark terror, thinking that at any moment the snake will bite him and he'll die. It's only with the light of the dawn that he sees what the snake really is - a coiled bit of rope.
I wait upon the light of dawn to illumine my ability to discern true danger from imagined - snakes from ropes. Until that happens however, I'm sure I'll be running into buckets and buckets full of snakes.
It was pointed out to me recently that my life was veering more and more off into a state of uncertainty. Not knowing exactly what to do next for work, not knowing if it was cancer that caused the blood clot that came close to taking me out, not even knowing what long term treatment I'll be on for this adventure.. I suspect that's what the person was getting at.
I agreed, there is a lot of uncertainty right now.
I've thought a lot about that brief exchange quite a bit since then. I began to feel "special - but not the good kind of special" and somewhat isolated and disconnected from those around me - those who had apparently made better life choices and didn't end up unemployed with clot in their lungs.
Once again as it has done so many times in the past - the Dharma came to the rescue. The Buddha, Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche and Milarepa were just three of the pantheon of Buddhist ghosts who lent a hand.
The thing is - yes - my life is precarious and uncertain - but not because there's something remarkable about this incarnation. Quite the opposite - my life is hardly worth mentioning in its ordinariness. The point that the friendly Dharma ghosts helped me to remember is that all human life by its very nature is uncertain. All share in this precarity by dint of our birth. None are spared. It's not fun to look at and so whole industries have sprung up to keep us from doing just that. (Is that your smartphone vibrating??)
2500 years ago, the Buddha ran into this very same thing… people thinking that life is a lock. His response to this situation was one of the very first teachings I received as a Buddhist practitioner:
Someone recently asked me "what gifts have you received from your Buddhist meditation?" Since they were not Buddhist, they didn't understand that the activity of speaking about one's meditation practice is fraught with peril (pride, boasting, exaggeration to name but a few..). I mostly deflected the question saying that the primary gift I received from meditation was acute physical pain… and since meditation is a practice, now that I don't practice it - I am deep in the shit like everyone else is..
Even though I am a failed meditator, there is however a lasting gift that I have received - and that is the simple exposure to Dharma teachings themselves. My first teacher told me to beware of the Dharma because it is like walking in the finest of mists. By the time you notice you are wet - you are soaked to the bone. And so it has been - a heretical Christian carrying the persistent saffron stain of the Dharma. And thank God too, because the Dharma provides me with perspective in hard times, the kind of perspective Christianity simply cannot, with all its talk of Jesus being with us and God having a plan and on and on and on.
The kind direction of countless Buddhist Teachers have taken me by the hand on so many occasions - especially in times of illness, pain, and deaths of those close to me.
Such is the case now and in the days ahead as I mourn the death of a long time colleague and friend who passed from this life yesterday morning.
May he be happy
iPhone 4s selfie / Plastic Bullet / Photoshop Elements 8.0 / Grungetastic!
I was asked recently by someone I didn't know all that well "how my soul was.."
I became quite uncomfortable with the question, because well, I didn't know the person that well… and "how's your soul?" seemed a bit personal…
I stumbled about in my mind looking for an answer.
Fortunately - my Buddhist half said "Relax - I got this", stepped to the fore and explained that I was, as the questioner was, merely a bundle of causes and conditions and when these causes and conditions ceased to be - I (and the questioner) would cease to be.
There was nothing that anyone could point to and say "There. That's intrinsically Roy."
No soul at all. So - nothing to be good or bad.
Like everyone else - like everything else - a shapeshifter.
(poem via Whiskey River)
Good advice that - and it's been so difficult to give up on - the hope that there's a teacher out there and when I'm ready (s)he will appear. I think TV and movies warped my expectations. The TV Series Kung Fu I watched as a boy, and movies like schlocky "Karate Kid", hyper violent "Kill Bill", much maligned "Jeremiah Johnson", and even "The Razor's Edge" with Bill Murray, all played their role in laying down and reinforcing the narrative of teacher and student heart-to-heart / mind-to-mind relationships. And then there was that mountain of speerchul memoirs I read over the decades.. they didn't help neither…not one bit.
If the old adage is true - that the teacher appears when the student is ready - clearly I've not been ready for well over fifty years - and at this point - well - it's academic really.
In any case that enormous pile of daydreams is ash now.
Thanks be to God.
I have been away from my beloved One o'clock.
Staying away was mostly a function of the cough and cold from the tenth ring of hell that lasted from the end of January right straight through February. And then after that there were those days of thinking "I don't belong there. I don't believe like they believe. I don't want to bring my poisonous thoughts into their midst, because even unspoken - they have a vibe." So I stayed away a while longer.
And then - a friend talked to me about this. Wondered where I was.. Assured me that my black thoughts were more run-of-the-mill than cyanide-laced, and thought I should come back.
So I did.
On the way in to take my seat yesterday, I said "Hi" to a man that I've seen there for months now. He said "Hi" back and then touched my arm "You are feeling ok? You seem to be moving with some discomfort." I told him that I'd had my left hip replaced years ago and now the other hip "the good hip" was deteriorating as well and would probably need to be replaced like the other one. It's not that painful yet, but sometimes I limp a little. I thanked him for his concern and sat down.
There was a fiery sermon by another man who took his beautiful heart out of his chest to share it with us. During the prayers of the faithful the same kind brother who expressed concern for me earlier, offered up a prayer for my well-being.. honestly - I didn't even know what was happening for a few moments.. Never - ever - had that happened before. Ever. There was the incense. There was Eddie's gorgeous and heartfelt singing. During communion a brother came in off the cold, windy street, took his guitar out of its case and sang and played beautiful songs that he wrote. Before I left the One o'clock, I got a small stack of the March Pilgrim literary journal pressed into my hands.. so good.
At the beginning of the One o'clock, Rev. Tina made mention of "The Great Lake of God's Love." If there is such a thing, I think it would have to look a whole lot like the One o'clock.
Directly afterwards, I dashed up Storrow Drive to meet two Buddhist Nun friends, Seon Joon Sunim, and Won San Sunim. They are two American women who have full Bhikkuni ordination as Buddhist Nuns in the Korean lineage. They were in town only for a very short while. I got to spend an extravagant two-plus hours with them sipping coffee, nibbling cookies, laughing, and talking about their lives and their amazing journeys to become Nuns. I also caught them up a bit on my life and told them about what goes on at the Cathedral since the One o'clock was still so present for me. They graciously let me take their picture..
Such a time.
Such a day.
Thanks to the amazing site "Brain Pickings" for the posting about my almost-brother Jack Kerouac's Birthday today. The beautiful video above is a letter Jack wrote to his wife in which he mentioned "The Golden Eternity.
"The Golden Eternity" is a slim little book of short aphorisms (kinda like the Tao Te Ching). Once upon a time, i read it, fell in love with the kind expression of the Dharma it contained, and hand copied the entire book into a small black notebook that I still lug around with me (below).
How last-century is that?
Happy Birthday Jack, my almost-brother…."actually not 'beat'…but strange solitary Catholic mystic."
나무아미타불 나무아미타불 나무아미타불 나무아미타불 나무아미타불
나무아미타불 나무아미타불 나무아미타불 나무아미타불 나무아미타불
(Namu Ami-tah-bul x 10)
For a short while today I got to visit with two of my most favorite buds, Amida Buddha (above) and Jizo Bodhisattva (below) at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.
Amida, as you all know made the great vow to save everyone. And Jizo - well - Jizo is very special to me. Jizo made the great vow to put off his enlightenment until he rescued all Hell beings.
Amida and Jizo don't give a shit whether you believe in them or not either.
It's "no Ifs, ands, or buts" with them.
It's how they roll.
You cannot imagine what a relief it is for me to know that they're out there, sweeping up knuckleheads like me.
The Amida statue is 12th Century. The Jizo statue is from 1279.
They are both very very beautiful in person.
지장보살 지장보살 지장보살 지장보살 지장보살
지장보살 지장보살 지장보살 지장보살 지장보살
(Jee-Jahng Boe-Sahl x 10)
There was a hit on the blog today from teh Google. Someone was asking "What does Mun Su Sa mean?"
"Mun Su" is the Korean name for the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. Tibetans call him "Manjusri"
"Sa" means temple.
So - Mun Su Sa is the temple of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom
The gorgeous Buddha statue above is in the main Dharma hall at Mun Su Sa.
In a separate building, there is a lovely statue of Mun Su Bosal ('Bosal' = Bodhisattva). You can see him below.
Of course the other thing Mun Su Sa means is authentic, beautiful, wholehearted Korean Buddhist practice right in the middle of Wakefield MA.
Mun Su Bosal - Mun Su Sa
Mun Su Bosal closeup
Mun Su Bosal astride his Blue Lion
Painting by Brian Barry
Paris Review interview with John Berryman (October 1970)
John Berryman - soulmate. There is absolutely no daylight between him and me on this topic.
I have no illusions about the artistic merit of my own pictures or drawings - so I don't presume to put myself anywhere near the likes of Berryman. However - I have noticed and written about how distress leads to mark-making in my own life.
If I was in that room with the Paris Review interviewer and Mr Berryman in 1970, I would have offered that he didn't need to hope to be crucified. Crucifixion writ small or large comes as part of the standard trim package when you get a human incarnation.
Two years after the Paris Review Interview, Mr Berryman, scholar, teacher, poet, threw himself off the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis. Maybe his prayers for ordeal were answered "in abundance" as we Christians are wont to say. Maybe the abundance of ordeal was actually too much for him to bear - which would give lie to the old saw-treacle "God only gives us what we can handle."
Thanks to my dear Sister H, who really introduced me to Mr Berryman through her most excellent close reading of Dream Song #32 that she shared with me yesterday with the assistance of an oracular Monkey. (before yesterday - i never knew what a close reading was..)
We've never gotten water damage from ice dams in the thirty-something years we've been in this box. This year - causes and conditions conspired to channel melting roof snow into the front hall and one of the front bedrooms. The last several days have been a marathon of emptying catch basins half filled with icy water.
The bill to repair this little adventure will be in the thousands with insurance picking up most of it. Of course - over the years - my insurance rates will go up - so it'll be a wash in the end.. It's more like my insurance buddies are fronting me the money (with interest of course).
The above image reflects what they call the "mitigation phase." A contractor that works for the insurance company has come and opened holes in the ceiling and removed all the wet insulation. Those two blue things on the shelf are really powerful blowers. That silver and black box on the floor is a huge de-humidifier. Their aim is to expeditiously dry the wet area.
The blowers are loud - but the fucking dehumidifier is not only loud - it also generates powerful vibrations that travel throughout the house frame. So - it's like living with several jet engines going all day and all night..
Thanks to the dehumidifier/whole-house vibrator, the internal humidity in the house is around 25% - the average relative humidity of the Sahara desert. The arid air has proven to be a most excellent cough producer.
It should also be noted that the blowers are just ramming warm house air up into the attic - further warming the roof - and in my opinion - further escalating the risk of future ice damming. But - this is all done at the behest of the insurance company - I'm sure they know what they're doing..
The ultimate thing this points to is the immediate need for a new roof which will run many thousands of dollars
The one thing I can truly be thankful for is that this didn't happen when I was unemployed… oh. wait...
As is the style in America, the land of The Secret - I am staying insanely, outrageously positive about all this. I swear to you I walk around like a grinning idiot all day long just to show those near and dear to me how much positivity I'm putting out into the Universe. It just would't do to be otherwise - one would be likely to start growing cancerous tumors on the spot from all the negative vibrations..
Of course this could all be much worse.
Of course it could.
And - Maybe - just maybe this is one of God's whimsical little tests to strengthen my otherwise wet-noodle character. Yes, I'm positive that this for my own good. The big guy is looking out for my long term interests...
Or perhaps this is some bad karma finally "ripening" as my Boody bro's and sisters might opine..
Either way - this is a big,big, win.