Experiencing both the good and the bad
When I was a child, I watched Adventures from the Book of Virtues, an animated show based on The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories edited by William Bennett. And from that show, I still remember the episode about Peter and the magic thread. A boy, unsatisfied and impatient with the normal pace of life, acquires a silver ball with a magic thread that, when tugged, fast-forwards his life.
If school bores him, that thread helps him skip till the end of the day. He fast-forwards through life as an adult, a soldier, husband, father, and old man close to death. Although he hasn’t suffered, he still remains unsatisfied with life because it passed so quickly like a daydream.
For some people, that may be preferable. Such is the case with Mark S. in Apple TV’s Severance. Under the guise of maintaining a “work-life balance,” Mark undergoes the procedure known as severance wherein his memories become “spatially dictated.” While at work, he retains no memories of his personal life; while at home, he isn’t aware of what he does for work. Talk about the ultimate NDA!
But Mark is grieving his wife’s death. Severance has helped him forget the pain of losing her for at least eight hours in a workday. As someone who has lost her brother, I know that grieving while working can intensify the pain. So I understand that in a way, severance is Mark’s magic thread.
My dad reads many spiritual books and he reminds me that we’re spirits having a human experience. And the full spectrum of human experience includes the beautiful moments we like to linger on, and also the terrible times we’d rather skip.
So here I am, trying to make the most of each day. I do my job well, I go boxing, and I cook healthy meals. Still living, albeit a little sadder than before. There’s never a moment that I forget my grief, even in dreams. 24/7 for me. No severance. But if I’m going to have a long life, I’m sure there will be times when I experience quiet little moments so profound that I’ll be glad I didn’t have that magic thread to skip through life as if it were a daydream.
I’m living that fully human life: good and bad times included.
Originally published at https://kyladelrosario.com on March 3, 2022.