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I started this diary as an “observation diary’, a technique of looking deeply into an ordinary daily experience, something I had been taught by a teacher in college. Some days I do this but often I do not. It is a difficult task in today’s world for me to be fully alive to the present and see deeply into the moment. Recently I have a hard time focusing on two things at one time. When I drive a car and am talking with a person quite often I will make a wrong turn. If I am doing something and get distracted I might forget what I was doing. Like many old persons or person with dementia I forget where I left something.
Today I observed that in all these areas plus more I was lacking.
However, the biggest area I am deficient in is observing the moment when it means pain, suffering and feeling depressed. If you live in the moment and hear about a US trained Afghan soldier killing a US soldier, or about the homicide rate of Chicago and Philadelphia or see a friend in distress due to injustice or see the Church you love not practice what it preaches, it hurts.
I can get angry and dismiss the hurt with anger; I can get busy and try to forget the hurt; but these are only ways of suppressing reality and numbing oneself. How to face injustice and violence in daily life and still feel hope and fully alive is a challenge. I do not always do the right thing but that is no excuse for not trying.
Since the death of my son, Peter, I have been talking about feeling the shadow of death. It is a lot easier to ignore death than face it but do we really have choice if we want to live life to the fullest. Daily dying is the only way to living life.