Saturday, March 31, 2012

bring me my binky!

Narrowly, a "binky" may refer to a baby pacifier; but more widely it can just be anything that brings comfort in needy and upsetting times. A binky reasserts sanity and safety in an insane and dangerous world. It is a home and home is where the heart can rest easy.

Grown-ups can refer with condescending smiles to the security blankets and pacifiers of children, but their condescension seems to be nowhere in sight when a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream or three fingers of bourbon top off a particularly hectic day.

Binkies spell comfort and relief and who doesn't yearn for a little of that from time to time? Religion, philosophy, new shoes, a good friend, a tail-wagging dog, a favored chair ... pick your comfort, pick your relief, pick your binky.

Since imagining I might go through life without relying on my binkies strikes me as just another binky, I guess that, when it comes to those binkies, the best I can hope for is some willingness to turn around and embrace what is inescapable. Embrace and investigate. Other people's binkies may strike me as foolish and immature, but what other people do is not something I can do much about.

In Buddhism, I once heard "suffering" -- a Buddhist touchstone that refers to the unsatisfactoriness that can tinge any human life -- defined as "the resistance to pain." I think that's a pretty good definition. Pain is inevitable but resistance to it is optional. Mental pain, physical pain ... head for the hills! Toss me my binky! Comfort me! Give me some relief! Masochism is not my gig ... get me outta here!

If everyone has more or less the same binky-prone reaction to pain, then that reaction must be warranted and true... perhaps that's the axiom in play. If everyone does it and I do it too, then I can't be wrong. I like being right -- it comforts me.

But without making a federal case out of it, I wonder if some suspicion is not warranted ... a little suspicion and a little investigation. Pain is inevitable. There is always some insanity that is bound to upset the sanity apple cart, some shadow accompanying the light, some horror attendant on bliss. This is true for those who rely on downcast views and those who rely on shimmering light as well. Apple carts are made for upsetting. Limitlessness simply cannot be contained or constrained by limits.

As a dog sniffs carefully around a piss-worthy fire hydrant, so I think it's a good idea, however upsetting, to sniff around the world of binkies, the world of safety, the world of meaning and explanations and belief, the Shangri-La's, whether little or large. No need to be nasty about it ... just sniff a little.

Taking an unencumbered piss is such a wonderful thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment