Thursday, December 27, 2012

Today's MOMENT OF ZEN 12/27/12

Words by F LoBuono

On days like today, I wish that I could just write my blues away. If I bang away furiously, perhaps, I can turn a phrase to make me feel better about things. It seems like I have the weight of the whole world squarely upon my shoulders. On days like today, there is no gravity - the world just sucks. Perhaps, a well placed word will show me the light that I know lies behind these damned clouds!! But that's also part of the problem: I KNOW the sun lies just beyond the clouds. The issue is how do I reach them?

I feel like it's a Catch-22 situation. The term comes from the title of the award winning anti-war novel by Joseph Heller. It refers to circular reasoning. In the book's case, the protagonist, Yosarian, a bombardier on a B-17, says he can't fly any more combat missions because flying them has made him crazy. But since flying in a tin can while someone is trying to shoot you out of the sky IS crazy, he can't be crazy. Therefore, the doctors will not certify him as insane and, so, he must continue to fly missions. In a sense, the same pretzel logic applies here. I know that I have nothing to truly fret about. I have my health, a great family, a warm, safe apartment, clothes, a good, reliable vehicle, a great job, respect and love from my friends, and my beloved cat, Red, by my side as I write this. Simply put, I HAVE SO MUCH. I have no right, especially compared to what others have experienced lately, to complain. However, the more I think that way, the worse I feel. See, Catch-22: I'm trying to focus on what I have rather than what I don't. It may be an attempt to feel better about myself, but the more that I do, the worse my depression becomes.

Well, it's time to try a different approach. Failure is not an option. What I DO find effective is to change one's thinking. Break the cycle. Stop beating yourself up for not thinking right. Stop thinking about it all together and start LOOKING for the little signs that will show you the way to the light. In fact, I have a couple of those reminders right here in front of me. Red is sleeping peacefully next to me. I can't help but feel his warmth. And, to provide some "background distraction", I turned on my TV. On AMC, I found one of my all-time favorite movies, featuring one of all-time favorite characters: Big Trouble in Little China, starring Kurt Russel as Jack Burton. Burton (IMHO) is one of the great, campy anti-heroes in film history. He's kind of an every man -tough guy. Jack constantly blunders into and out of trouble - all with this incredible sense of bravado. He talks a good game, but we all know that he ain't THAT tough! But you'll never get that from him. And he gets shit done. I love him. And he has the perfect attitude to pull me (and you?) out of any funk. The movie closes with Jack in his beloved 18-wheeler, back on the open road after having completed his mission and saving the day. He is alone again, when he says this into his CB radio:

Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton looks that ol' storm square in the eye and he says "Give me your best shot, pal, I can take it".

Well, BE Jack Burton for awhile! Look that ol' storm in the eye and say Give me your best shot, pal, I can take it! Now, this is often easier said (and written) than done. That's why depression can be so insidious: we KNOW the way, we just can't seem to get there, just making it worse (Catch-22). But the key is to try, to FIGHT, to persevere, to find the strength to say Give me your best shot, pal, I can take it.

I'm starting to convince myself. I hope that, perhaps, I may have helped convince you, too. You just have to believe. :)


  1. Sounds to me like you need a little trip to the sunshine state my friend!

  2. Soon. But not yet. Need to grind it out a bit more. :)