Saturday, June 13, 2009


OK, so I lied about taking a break. Embrace the fear. Just move forward and do what you have to.

As friends, family and attorneys engaged by former legal relatives know by now, I tend to get a little more self-absorbed than usual around my birthday. It's not getting old. I don't care, though I kind of miss having my summers off. My birthday is just a train wreck of misery that seems to burn through what could be a really nice month. Lately, I've taken to managing it -like it's diabetes or a really bad skin condition.

It helps to consider that since it's your birthday, you're responsible for whatever cakes, gifts and party favors. On the upside, if I work out the details, there's a better chance I get what I want.

I'm a Buddhist -not a great Buddhist -but still a Buddhist. It makes sense to me. Anyway, in my recent studies, I've been reading more about karma. The thing with bad karma that gets missed in the popular interpretation is the bad things you do to poison your present or future also poison the lives of others. Karma is all about action and intention.

Most of the time we're all generating tons of karma just by breathing and being us. Just as we never completely know the repercussions of the good things we do, we never completely know the effects of the bad. Karma is a mystery. We can't see the source, but sometimes we can. Sometimes we know when our actions have caused harm. The worst kind of bad karma, I think, is the kind that festers, the stuff you've done that you never take care of, that you weasel out of or rationalize as a mistake made when you were young or drunk or both.

Really, if it was okay, you wouldn't think about it. These things burn and radiate like hot coals in your conscience. You always remember the people you meant to fuck over or hurt --even if doing so wasn't really about hurting them, but was just about doing what you thought you needed to do or even just what you wanted.

I've been thinking a lot about that: making good on some of my old debts to see if I can fix the messes I caused. The bonus challenge is going to be to make good even when they don't know I did anything. Sometimes the harm wasn't evident, but that doesn't make it OK.

I have no idea where this leads. I'd like to hope that it makes something better for someone. Maybe it does nothing but makes me feel better. I'm OK with that, too, but it would be great if by paying off the "karmic debt" I improved someones circumstances. So, that's my birthday gift to myself --a quest to do a few good deeds to counteract the bad deeds I did once upon a time.

So, another list for me to write... and a few stories at the end of it all. Not a bad gift and it fits.

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