Benign

A high school English teacher once warned me and my class that we may find the existential angst in The Stranger by Albert Camus upsetting. I was intrigued. I had never received a warning about reading a book before.

I still clearly remember coming to the last line (spoiler alert!):

“I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe.”

At the time, I didn’t know what “benign” meant and had to search for a dictionary.

be·nign
adj \bi-ˈnīn\
1: of a gentle disposition : gracious
2a: showing kindness and gentleness
2b: favorable, wholesome

3a: of a mild type or character that does not threaten health or life; especially: not becoming cancerous

3b: having no significant effect : harmless

Far from being upset, I was oddly comforted.

The universe wasn’t out to get me.

I’ll take benign indifference.

So yesterday’s phone call with the lab results of a biopsy I had to have on Tuesday was very welcome and something I am thankful for this Thanksgiving: “Benign.”

I’ll take a friendly tumor.

Thanksgiving Day, 2000 – 2011

I am so grateful for family, friends, and health on this day and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

{Celebrate your courage. Send me a postcard.}

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days, and writing my memoirs. I am a teacher and writer living in Connecticut.
This entry was posted in Books, Et Cetera and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Benign

  1. Erica M says:

    This is so far my favorite Thanksgiving post I’ve read today. No offense, other Thanksgiving posts.
    Erica M recently posted..I was waiting until I had gathering photos to post, then said aw, forget itMy Profile

  2. Jennifer says:

    A blessing to be thankful for indeed! Enjoy your family!
    Jennifer recently posted..Homeschooling and pie makingMy Profile

  3. Benign is such a wonderful word! I’m so pleased your results were good. This is a lovely post – great pictures too. Thank you so much for sharing with the Gallery of Favorites.
    April @ The 21st Century Housewife recently posted..The Gallery of FavoritesMy Profile

  4. So happy it was nothing serious! Love all the pics of your boys. They are so handsome :)
    Shannon ~ My Place In The Race recently posted..Turkey DayMy Profile

  5. Alea Milham says:

    Benign is a beautiful word! Thank you for sharing your good news and wonderful perspective with the Gallery!
    Alea Milham recently posted..Gallery of Favorites 11/25My Profile

  6. sammy says:

    Marcy that is great news — yes benign is such a good word. Your boys are gorgeous – I really like the montage.
    sammy recently posted..Drugs or a body ….My Profile

  7. Tumors are usually real jerks. But the benign ones? They’re the best of the bunch.
    Congrats on getting a clean bill of health. What a wonderful thing to be thankful about this week.
    Came from Write on Edge.
    Kim at Let Me Start By Saying recently posted..I’ll Take Peace & Quiet (and wine) Over Pie, Any DayMy Profile

  8. MISH says:

    Popping in from Write On Edge weekend linky.
    After your experience, I’d agree with you that a “friendly tumour” is more than welcome! A great thanksgiving moment… :)
    Nice to meet you *waves*

  9. Alicia says:

    Excellent post for Thankgiving, love it!!

  10. Shannon says:

    GREAT news! Who would think the word “benign” could be music to one’s ears? (And it has been in my family’s life a number of times.) Happy belated Thanksgiving.
    Shannon recently posted..CHRISTMAS CHARITY CRAFTINGMy Profile

  11. Harmless is good news!

    Cranky Old Man
    cranky old man recently posted..MORE SUPER POWERS I WANTMy Profile

  12. MultipleMum says:

    Benign is very good. I will have to check out that book now. Intrigued. Thanks for Rewinding x
    MultipleMum recently posted..Weekend Rewind – The Zen editionMy Profile

  13. Pingback: That’s the Way the Fortune Cookie Crumbles | | (Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish(Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish

  14. Pingback: 14 Years of “Boys, Look at Me” | (Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge