Dear Buddha, I was in the middle
of my patient’s root canal procedure,
when a glint of sunlight ricocheted off
the mouth mirror and struck me in the eye;
all I could think of was How many more
of these do I need to do before I can finalize
my divorce, ditch my horrible in-laws and the SOBs
pretending to be my golf buddies, and start anew?
Why did I let myself be bullied by my parents into this
career in endodontics, instead of following in your
footsteps? Also, I am losing my hair and wonder if
you have any advice on shaving it all off at one time.
Yours truly, Middle Aged and Unhappy in Florida.
Dear Middle Aged and Unhappy in Florida, yours truly
would have no real advice on shaving it all off at one time.
My decision had more to do with trying to travel more lightly
through the world, instead of being caught up in externals.
I know what you mean about parents who come on too strong:
but we have to believe they only want the best for us, even when
they misguidedly think the pinnacle of success is membership
at a country club with a golf course, among other things.
As for your wife and in-laws, I do not know the circumstances
that placed them in your life and you in theirs; one must
always inquire, what are we asked to learn from each other?
This much I believe: the things we think and do attract
our fate, though they are in the end illusion.
When insight strikes like a too-bright reflection or
a vehicle’s high-beam lights, the first instinct is often
to freeze and recoil. Afterward comes the adjustment,
the much more unpleasant task of tunneling anew
into the self, digging for the root of things.