First day of, well, this. OK, let’s not over dramatize things here. But…
Finding out you have IPF is quite an existential challenge. Oh, don’t tell me how bad others have it. I know, I know. I realize I am not able to truly or fully empathize with other people’s true pain. I can guess, or surmise, but not truly know. There are pains of the body, war wounds, major damage from any sort of accident, and cancer and more cancer. There is also the trauma of torture which Americans seem to becoming quite immune to as far as that story goes. And there is isolation. We are slowly learning how damaging and debilitating that is. And there is all manner of “mental” illnesses which make a person’s life unbearable, and make any guess as to what drives a person to suicide.
Suffering is a relative thing. I recall a Vickor Frankl statement, or nearly so, about suffering filling all the space available. I can’t find it. But that does not make it untrue. Imagine the concept of Boyls law of gasses which I am going to butcher here. Look up Wikipedia for the real deal, but a less scientific use is is considering that the molecules of a
gas will fill evenly all the space it is given. Imagine a balloon. The molecules are evenly dispersed no matter the size. Imagine a fixed chamber. The same applies. The same is true with suffering. Being alone for a time may be suffering. It is sufficient suffering. It fills all the suffering space it can. Suffering much, much greater loss or pain or what-have-you, is the same. The container is the sufferer’s condition, whether we consider it great or small. It is the same.
Today I am not suffering. I am anticipating suffering. I am preparing for it, whatever that means. I know it is coming. Pretty soon it seems. Well, I guess any time is too soon.
Currently I am only discomforted. Dragging a fifty foot green tube around so as to breathe and even then the least stress drops the Os rather quickly and I find myself sitting down. Am I suffering? If I don’t think so, I guess not. Or am I just being proud?
I am thinking that I have missed my chance to write my Magnum Opus. But then, I was never going to anyway. What would I build it on? My life is a series of ill thought out choices with rather mediocre results fortunately punctuated with some rather nice moments and relationships. That is, if one were to pass judgement. That is, if one is expected to reach one’s potential, but without even knowing what that might be.
It is another topic, really. And I will likely get around to it in time.
Suffice it to say, that I am on my way out. IPF is one way. I have the distinct misfortune of knowing my fate. True, it might be cut short anyway should a piano fall on my head, but I know something most people do not. And that makes for an interesting existential dilemma.
Flash: Sartre (the impenetrable) said, I believe in the novel Nausea, something to the effect that the only important decision a person must make is whether or not to commit suicide. Huh. I can get behind that. But not being Sartre I am not sure I can explain why. At any rate, in my situation, for the nonce, I need not worry about suicide. Later, for certain, when I come closer to so evenly filling my container of suffering.
Leave it for now. This is much longer than I had anticipated. I shudder at the thought of editing. Perhaps I will not.