Spare a thought for the Devil, who must spend eternity enduring Faust’s constant diatribe of bitterness, resentment, and self-pity.
What if we’re all suffering?
Some are astutely aware of it. Others stumble drunkenly through their lives, dully sensing the pain in moments when the anesthesia wears off and we have not found our next fix.
What if suffering is the human condition?
What if suffering is the price of the human condition — what we pay for our tenure in our lives?
What does the price buy?
It buys beauty, love, joy. It buys caresses, children falling asleep on our laps, unexpected presents from nervous suitors. It buys awe, sunrises, fog lying low, and more.
What if suffering is the currency we must pay to buy all that?
If so, it’s the deal of the century, even if prices have gone up.
Old loves are like young bodies.
They are strong.
Each day, lifting their burdens, they grow more substantial, tougher, and more capable.
They are flexible.
They can stretch and bend to extremes as needed to make it through the world.
They are radiant.
They need no makeup, no coverings, no tricks of light for others to see their beauty.
They are resilient.
They can withstand much pain yet wake up the next morning yelling, “Yes! Again! Again!”
They are mortal.
They believe they can live forever, but can be wiped out in an instant if care is not taken.
(I took the above photo on Vigeland’s bridge)
My wife looked at the statue and said it reminded her of me.
“How,” I asked? “In his noble strength against his constraints? In his righteous fury in response to his captivity? In his perfect form against a perfect prison that can redistribute his force as he pushes, yet still he fights on?”
“No,” she said. “In that if he relaxed his grip, and stepped forward, he’d be free.”
(I took this photo on Vigeland’s bridge)