mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS

Colonoscopy

Everybody over 50 has gut checks these days. Like menopause, it's a bonding thing, except men can join in. It brings dread, hunger, discomfort and disgust. The actual procedure is a dreamy blackness. Then, if all is well, you are giddy and ready to de-cleanse with a big order of fries and bowl of ice cream.

That was me Monday-Tuesday. Ya do what ya gotta do.

But here's what I don't understand. Why do some people cleanse and purge voluntarily? I'm not talking about girls with eating disorders. I'm talking about functioning adults who fast and do colon cleansing as part of a self-improvement kick.

I know there's a history of saintly self-denial in many religious traditions. 40 days of fasting and all that -- hair shirts and self-flagellation. I'm not into it. For me, serious self-denial always rebounds to ardent self-indulgence.

I like the conclusions of Buddha, who (after a few years of trying to be a starving ascetic) decided there had to be a Middle Way. Or Goldilocks: getting that life rhythm that's JUST RIGHT.

I will happily avoid opting for a liquid diet (or for cleansing with 2 quarts of Miralax + Gatorade) for another 5 years.

4.23.2008

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