Disturbance, irritation, dejection, worry, despair, fear, dread, anguish, anxiety; vulnerability, injury, inability, inferiority; sickness, aging, decay of body and faculties, senility; pain/pleasure; excitement/boredom; deprivation/excess; desire/frustration, suppression; longing/aimlessness; hope/hopelessness; effort, activity, striving/repression; loss, want, insufficiency/satiety; love/lovelessness, friendlessness; dislike, aversion/attraction; parenthood/childlessness; submission/rebellion; decision/indecisiveness, vacillation, uncertainty.
— Francis Story in Suffering, in Vol. II of The Three Basic Facts of Existence (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1983)
There are the mysteries. Where did we come from and where are we going?
But there are also very common problems. When are we not only expected to know but to act wisely?
I went to the grocery store to buy a jar of applesauce. I didn't want corn sauce. I wanted applesauce—just like granny made. I bought original applesauce. When I get home I see that it is corn sauce. What is original about that? Did the caveman adulterate apples with corn syrup?
So I call Motts, the people who make this stuff that no one should be consuming, and complain. I ask, “What is original about corn sauce?” “Oh” they say, “Would you like us to send a coupon for some unsweetened applesauce.” “Yes,” I said, ”And next time I'll read the whole label.”
At the time I thought I had learned something. With my newfound wisdom, I went to buy soymilk. I see the sign, buy one and get the second one for $1 off. I was “in.” I put two original soymilks in the cart and check out. When I returned home, I started drinking the stuff, and was surprised at how good it tasted…until I read the fine print. Corn syrup. Once again I was taken by that word original.
Luckily it is the sugary one that my grandson drinks so my daughter took it out of my hands.
Next time at the store I bought some unsweetened soymilk. Today I opened it to drink some and then realized that I should shake it up a bit. Thought I had closed the tab, soymilk went everywhere. I immediately called 800soymilk and complained, “Your lid doesn't work.” After I read them off a liturgy of numbers the nice woman said she send me a new box.
Why am I so particular? Why do these simple shopping tasks become such horrific and painful challenges?
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