I must have something of a masochistic component to my personality. Here I am, working this job called grief, and I choose to read an Ann Tyler book - Noah’s Compass. It’s yet another sad book about a sad family, the members of whom don’t even like each other. Am I trying to find someone more miserable than I? Is this some kind of self-punishment? If so, what am I punishing myself for?
Haiti is a mound of rubble and dead and dying people, hungry and shelterless people with wounds and diseases and no medicine and little or no hope. And I am reading (listening to) a book that illustrates just how dysfunctional families can be.
What is that? The book’s characters are fucked up in about six ways from Sunday, but they have food and shelter and jobs and all the things we take for granted. And I am reading about them when I should be on my knees praying for people, not just in Haiti, but all over the world, who have NOTHING.
Yes, I sent some money to Doctors Without Borders. Well, doesn’t that just make me a fucking hero? Now I can stop worrying about those people? Is that my get our of jail free card? Grief has brought out the very worst in me - selfishness and egocentrism and isolation and bitterness.
Clint’s birthday is Sunday. He would be 76. I’m spending the day with my Savannah family, selfishly hoping that the energy in their house will overwhelm the sadness in my core. Who can be sad around happy children, playing and scrapping and making noise and glowing with innocence and fresh new life?