The Buddha once asked his monks, "Which do you think is greater: the water in the oceans or the tears you've shed while wandering on?"
I went to see that movie Up In The Air, about three months after everyone else, as usual. The theater was empty... except for me and the super lame couple who came and sat down right behind me.
What is that all about?
Anyway, everyone in the world was right: it was excellent.
I was a little disheartened by it, though. The whole thing about me and George Clooney being the two last single people on earth is kind of depressing, especially since I don't particularly find him attractive.
The New York Times (a rag I rarely read but heard someone throw out in a snobby sort of way the other day, so thought I would mention it in a bit of underhanded, snide irony) called the movie a "stealth tragedy", and I love that. It's sort of how I feel about my life at the moment.
I'm sure everyone has this moment in their life—and pushing 40 seems like just about the right time to have it—when you realize that not only have you not achieved the things you thought you were going to, but you are never going to. Maybe you achieved other things. Maybe, when you were growing up in backwoods Massachusetts and dreamed of being a writer, you had no way of knowing that the internet would even exist, never mind that you would make a living writing for it.
Or maybe, when you were little and thought that Boston was the most exotic, cosmopolitan place you could imagine, you would have been shocked to learn that you would spend most of your adult life on the Pacific coast.
On the other hand, that bustling family of little boys you imagined? Yeah, not so much. Strange how things transpire.
Life is a stealth tragedy, or, as the Buddha called it, Samsara: the somewhat aimless wandering between life and death, the cycle of birth and rebirth until we get it right, the polar opposite of nirvana.
Samsara, by many accounts, literally means "wandering on." So here I go, wandering on...