Year of questions: Are the things that keep us alive also what kill us?

 

I’m reading the book Bridge of Sighs by Pulitzer Prize author Richard Russo and in describing the fictional town the story is set in he notes the relationship between economic advantages/jobs a local tannery provided and the poisonous dyes poured into the local stream.

He writes “Can it be that what provides for us is the very thing that poisons us? Who hasn’t considered this terrible possibility”?”

The thought has definitely occurred to me. During my mom’s struggle with ovarian cancer one of the most confusing things was that it felt like the most lifegiving part of her body had turned against her. I think this is the most dynamic tension in life, that what we thrive on is also what destroys us.

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