Thursday, November 15, 2012

lasers of discontent

Funny how things come along all by themselves and take center stage. A day progressing more or less without incident can suddenly be consumed by a splinter in the finger or a stubbed toe, a kiss or some really good chocolate.

Suddenly, all else takes a back-seat status as a laser of attention comes to bear. Good news, bad news ... same laser.

Yesterday, I began taking a prescribed medication to lower cholesterol. I have tried several in the past and each has resulted in some pretty severe muscle aches and other flu-like symptoms so today I have a hard time not wondering how soon the bad reactions will occur. Like some professional hypochondriac, I fidget and fuss and imagine until there's no telling what is a real reaction and what is a self-induced one: Do I ache because I actually ache or because I am expecting to ache?

Common sense says, "stop thinking about it and see what actually happens." But common sense can't hold a torch to the laser-like attention. So there is a retreat to the second line of common-sensical defense: If you can't escape it, then go with it ... fidget and fuss and imagine and see how well that works.

With luck, someone will send me a dirty joke or some other diverting bit of information -- as for example the clip of a woman who found Satan in her toaster -- and I can forget about my beloved anxieties and lasers.

On the other hand, is there a situation -- even on a day progressing more or less without incident -- that does not turn on the lasers? And if every situation is a laser, who's this boob who insists on turning the laser on?

The Zen Buddhist phrase wafts softly back into this fidget-prone mind ... "blue heaped on blue."

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