February 13th, 2002


Why why why

A lot of women who work where I do are on the high-protein diets and they talk about it all the time, comparing this or that "Atkins bar", for example. I do not know why these diets bother me, why it really irritates me when people choose to go this way. It is possible for them to eat in a healthy manner if they gradually change to a different way of eating, if they use this high protein stuff only for a short time. But even if they don't eat in a healthy manner why does it bother me? Why should I care? I know lots of people who eat junk food or smoke or whatever and I don't spend any time dwelling on it. I wonder what it is with me.

Then and Zen

In these pages I have joked about being zen about one thing or another, meaning feeling detached, loose, okay with it, not letting things get to me. I did not know if I was representing Zen Buddhism correctly. I think now that I actually was. At least in essence. I am reading a book called "It's Easier than you think" about seeking enlightenment through the four Buddhist "noble truths". I am about halfway through this very small book and realizing that I have been traipsing down that path for a while now. Perhaps it should not be surprising that I have come upon these thoughts for living on my own, or primarily on my own. The book helps me to focus my thoughts better, I am happy to say, defines the quest a bit for me. The connections between pain and suffering, and the concept that "wanting is suffering" are wonderful distillations. The writer, Sylvia Boorstein, translates the first noble truth as, "Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional".

My therapist said something like the longer you resist the longer the pain persists. I think these say the same thing: let go, accept.