Degree, one of those multiple meaning words of the English language. Look it up, it had 16 different meanings and two idioms according to Dictionary.com. I’m going to focus on definition #3 (a stage in a scale of intensity or amount) so that I can get on with this blog posting, which has a high degree of postings today since I’m procrastinating on the manuscript.
The word and its concept as it relates to life, had me thinking about people, places, and the pursuit of survival. Grief, which only has one solid definition and two idioms, had me thinking about degrees. The loss of a friend, for instance, has varying degrees of grief. I’ve lost people that at one time or another meant a great deal to me, but their departure barely broke my spirit. I’ve also lost people that I didn’t think meant so much to me until our hour of separation; griefstricken to my knees. There is also a type of grief that is crippling, causing eventual paralysis and life distruption that suspends you into a stalled reality; the unexpected loss of someone very dear to you.
The different degrees of breakups come to mind also. I’ve had breakups that I felt nothing about until much later in life when the realization of my treatment or behavior toward that person really took on its own grievance process. How could I have treated someone that cared for me and I ultimately cared for in the grand scheme of things so poorly? Regret, ah yes the hindsight punishment of knowing that the karma is going to kick you where it hurts (if it hadn’t already).
Karma, it has four definitions in the English language but the most important definition is not English; it’s from Buddhism and Hinduism but I’ll use the Buddhist definition – action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation. It occurred to me, the other day, that my grisly breakup in 2006 (right after my brother’s death) was a direct result of bad karma that I weaved in 2001. Hurting someone so severly, slicing and dicing the heart for stew, and without compassion. You see, I hadn’t yet added that word into my internal dictionary. The karma incubated for five years until it was reaped, and let me tell you it was a grim reaper.
I digress, morbidly so.
With every yin is the yang, and happiness is also experienced in varying degrees. I’ve experienced elation and idle contentment (note: should you experience extreme degrees of up and downs frequently then perhaps you should skip this posting and head right to this bipolar article–just saying). I’ve fallen in love and skipped across streets that gleamed from the rays of sunshine from the bright yellow sun while people sang, loudly, and danced in my shiny happy mood. I’ve felt the butterflies from the bottom of my guts after getting great news. Giggles have made their way out of my giddy mouth from spending time with a friend, and laughs have mustered up enough energy to change the world. I’ve also just, simply, woke up in a good mood–not tired and not overjoyed. Varying degrees, you see.
My procrastination, while great initially, has subsided to a simmer and now my focus on getting to my manuscript has begun to boil. I see degrees, people.