Like a daydream, or a fever

My head is filled with words today, and half-formed thoughts, all jockeying for prime position so that I might latch onto them and investigate them further: lost, found, aphorism, Schadenfreude, the nature (and limits) of forgiveness, poetry as solace, recovery, guilt.

But I can't focus. I need to let myself be all over the place, because this seems like some bizarre treasure hunt of sorts, and I'm not sure where I'll find the next clue.

In no way is it easy to watch a friend suffer, even (or perhaps *especially*) if she's brought the suffering on herself. My instinct, countless hours of empathic listening training aside, is to make things better. But of course I can't do that here, because I'm neither the cause of nor the solution to the problem. So I do what I can--listen (and hear), take her out for wine, try not to let my own opinions and neuroses come too much into play.

There's a saying, often attributed to the Dalai Lama (although really, who knows) that when you lose, you should not lose the lesson. I don't think Val is in any danger of losing the lesson here. And although I'm not the one who has lost (knock on wood), I'd still like to believe there's something for me to learn from all of this as well.

I guess when the walls that have been surrounding your life as you know it start to crack and crumble, you can do one of two things: either stand there in the midst of the rubble and rue what you've lost, or step beyond the mess for a while, over those broken walls, and see what's there.

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