Speaking of Bags of S-it…

<March ‘09>

I was on a long drive yesterday(1) and was listening – as I so often do – to the CBC radio (I’m a passionate fan of Canada’s Canadian Broadcasting Corporation & could go on for half an hour about their fantastic programming – & have been known to say I’d surely die without the CBC…).

There was a guest on the Jian Ghomeshi show “Q” – a woman who’s a singer/musician, who’s been fighting breast cancer – and she blew me right out of the water with her passion & energy & courage. She commented that “Everyone has their bag of s-it” and I thought “Oh yeah, I’ll say,” and lately my own “bag of s-it” has been weighing on me more than just a little.

I am an almost relentlessly cheerful person – this even annoys some people, I know. I think maybe they think I’m not “deep” enough or something. How can anyone be so cheerful when the world is in such a bloody mess??

And I did used to think of myself as a pessimist, once upon a time – & I do like to think of myself as a realist.

There is lots of pain & suffering, misery & mayhem in this world – no doubt about that! I’m not blind, & I’m not a moron (or not a complete moron, at any rate, although for sure, like all of us, I do my fair share of dumb stuff!).

And lately, in the past 6 months or so, I’ve had my own not-so-lovely & not particularly unique set of circumstances & challenges & wounds with which to wrestle.

Even we “Pollyanna” types have our pain, you know… our bags of s-it.

Life ain’t no fairy tale, hmm?

No being carried off to the prince’s “castle in the sky”; no “happily ever after” to pin one’s hopes on (although that doesn’t seem to stop us with the fairy tale expectations, does it?).

But… in spite of all this B. of S. stuff, this world – this Earth – is so beautiful & rich & wondrous & abundant, how can we not rejoice in that?

How can we not glory in the sunshine, the sunrises & sunsets, the sky & the birds & the trees & the rivers & oceans & forests &… and in our fellow human beings, who are so terribly, terribly fallible & hurt, yet so filled with love & generosity & greatness & potential?

No doubt not everyone has read Byron Katie & Eckhart Tolle & Pema Chödrön.(2) Ms. Chödrön is so breathtakingly brilliant on the richness & joy of living “in the moment” & really facing & feeling our pain & sorrows head on – not running from or ignoring or denying them – & then there is Joanna Macy & her brilliance on the subject of “despair and empowerment”…

How can we let our B. of S. weigh us down when we are creatures of such immense potential??

I may have to carry a bag of s-it, but I sure as heck don’t have to act like one.

That’s definitely something that, as Oprah Winfrey likes to say, “I know for sure.”


(1) Just want to point out that I DO take the bus when I can. On this particular jaunt I had a car full of furniture to take to my daughter’s place, so a car trip it was…

(2) I certainly highly recommend all three! All three, by the way, have experienced very serious “bags of s-it” of their own; they have each been there