Wildfires

 Fires North of Where I Live
Firestorms began a week ago Monday with smoke in the air and live news of the destructive wildfires in Northern California on TV. This was happening up the highway, an hour north of where i live–which is also in an urban-wilderness interface.
This had the effect of now holding two beliefs at the same time. I was experiencing the Jungian concept of “holding the tension of opposites.” I now express this myself as “holding the opposites” or “holding the paradox”, because there is no tension.” (I finished writing the first draft of this book—wait for further announcements about it.)
Excerpt from my Memoir-Based book
(from the last chapter) “Up to this time, I had a fatalistic but not gloomy philosophy, that went with the thought, “I could be struck down, anytime.” or “I could be hit by a truck.” I think it came from being the spared sibling, of realizing that “it could have been me,” like standing next to my brother and having lightning strike him. Watching the news and seeing hurricanes or wildfires or bombs suddenly change everything for some and spare others 

illustrates this premise. This philosophical mind-set helped me appreciate everything that was positive in my life, to have gratitude, to enjoy the moment, because “tomorrow I could die.” It leads me still, to “stay current,” to not leave unsaid positive words and feelings that I would have regretted not saying, to

not owe people, and to have a living will and an advanced health care directive.

“As I listened, (to Carl Simonton, MD describe the connection between beliefs and outcome) I made a shift in my own mind. I did not substitute it for my fatalistic philosophy. Instead I made room for an intuitive feeling, a certainty that I now felt– that I would be around for a long time. With a two and a half year old daughter and a year old son, it mattered that I be here for them, and after staying the course that led to becoming a psychiatrist, activist, and soon to be a Jungian analyst, to trust that this was what I was meant to do—and if so, faith that I’d have enough time.