Sunday, February 5, 2012

karma

I don't think I believe in karma. Bad things can happen to good people. Good things can happen to bad people. It's also all in your interpretation of what is bad and good. I think of my parents as an example. They are genuine, passionate, considerate people. They have loved each other for a long time- a love that has evolved and grown old and comfortable but not without its excitement. My father was my mother's biology professor in college in 1965. Although my mom was 19 at the time (16 years younger than my dad), she has always had an incredible understanding of the world and the kind of mature insight that draws others in. She has an instant warmth to her and a truly animated spirit (sometimes too much for me in the morning). Almost five decades ago my dad fell in love with this woman. and my mom fell in love with this man who has such a silly sense of humor, such a shining passion to learn and study life. my mind flashes to when my dad brought home a dead squid to dissect when I was 7 years old and my brother was 10. not just to say to us "here is what a dead squid looks like inside" but to show us all the amazing intricacies of life- "look at this! isn't this amazing? see what the world is possible of producing?" and now I think of a picture of my mom holding an octopus in her 19 year old hands, marveling at its slimy wonder at a beach in mexico, on a trip with other biology students, and my dad of course- professor of biology and professing of his love for my mom. but my dad was already married and father to two children. my parents had an affair together. they are not bad people but you can say that this was a bad thing. yet at the same time, its love-admittedly recklessly unleashed, but not bottled up or tortured by what if. it wasnt a plan to destroy (although I guess on the ex wife spectrum it could be seen as that), it just happened. it happened because something inside of them asked for each other. I don't suggest people get caught up in an affair- my parents are extremely lucky; I know that their story is a rare exception, and lucky in my case that their love survived throughout the changing years and they decided they wanted to see each other every morning of the rest of their days- so here is the problem I have with karma...Do my parents deserve some kind of bad karma because the way they met is scandalous and not considered right?
A couple weeks ago I walked to the nail salon downtown to see if I could squeeze in an appointment and while I waited and got sucked into reading trashy magazines I overheard the conversation of a couple of middle aged women who may as well have been trashy magazines themselves.
The first woman was adorned in a heavily cheesy christmas sweater (sparkly festive vomit), tired looking slacks, and an odd floppy brown hat over frazzled graying hair. Her face looked sucked of some joy but not without some spark I guess. Despite wide hips she didnt leave wide tips. Her tacky green nails with a coat of loud purple glitter were drying. Her friend, almost similar in description, except with some extra width and frazzled red hair, sat beside her and fanned out her equally tacky orange toenails, listening to her interpretation of karma:
"Did you hear what happened to my ex Robert? Serves him right for all that shit he did to me!"
-No, what happened?
"His liver is falling apart (laughs). That's called karma!"
I pretend to be absorbed in Kim Kardashian in US weekly but really I'm thinking "Karma? Do you, ex lover of a man with a crumbling liver, deserve some kind of bad karma for praising, laughing at even, the ill will of someone else?" although with someone like that, Im not sure if her thoughts would dive that deep
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