Graduated from art school in 2000 & have been keeping going creatively ever since - although sometimes by my bootstraps. I write fiction & poetry (& this). I draw & paint, & I cook, & I travel as often as I can. I know the world is not always friendly or conducive to the creative life or to the open heart, so I'm just working on keeping my inner fire alight, hoping that people like me can all help keep the bigger light burning too. May we all have the good fortune to enjoy health, happiness & creative fulfilment!
There's a lot going on at the moment, and I'm afraid a lot of it isn't good. It's hard at such times to keep looking towards the light, to remember one's hopes and loves and moments of happiness. It's painfully, shamefully easy to slide into depression.
I don't want to fall apart and blurt out a great bleurgh of self-pity here, but I'm afraid I am finding my own life pretty hard going just now. And so much of what I see around me in the wider world is hard as well. There have been a lot of goodbyes lately, and a lot of losses. There's been a lot of change, too, and much of that is hard to cope with, and harder to be unshaken by.
There are moments when one just thinks "My life stinks!" and doesn't see anything wrong with shouting that to the skies; and there are moments when one looks at the things others endure, and the way they are enduring them, with a grace and honesty one can only pray for - and one feels a crushing shame. Shame on me for thinking my pain is of any import, compared to what others must bear.
Shame doesn't help. Nothing seems to help. Shame leads to guilt, which makes one feel even worse, but doesn't have any lessening effect on the world's woes. Nothing seems to help at all for any of us.
Still, one endures; one must, after all, even if one cannot do it with selflessness or grace. But as Marge Piercy puts it in one of her poems, "Nothing is won by endurance but endurance."
I'm just having a bad patch; one of those phases when every day is a struggle. My awareness of how fortunate and privileged I am really, when you look at the grand scale of things, just makes the struggle worse, because it adds a deep self-disgust to the mixture. I have nothing wise to say, nor any profound or even useful thoughts to offer you. There are things I want to say, but I don't seem to have the words for some of them; and other things I will need to say soon, but which I can't say yet. I am tired and I want to cry. The optimism and sense of purpose of my last post, back in January, seem pathetic to me now.
This is not a good time.
I've been in places like this before. I know these things pass. I have experiential knowledge of that.
I wish I were looking around me and seeing hope and love and life and happiness. I wish I were not reading about wildfires destroying homes, good and gifted people dying, other good and gifted people losing their jobs and seeing their careers torn in shreds, racism seemingly becoming more "respectable" by the day, harmless dogs being poisoned, whole communities being oppressed and ignored. Dear Gods, what a world it is, when one looks into all that pain.
What is one to do, in the face of this? There is so much sorrow and loss, so much cruelty, so much injustice, so much destruction. It feels as though Kali is rising and destroying every well-meaning human heart, terminating every scrap of hope that those hearts had nurtured and clung-to.
I'm being over-emotional, I know. This agony of mind, this too shall pass. And in the meantime, one does endure. People are tough, and so is the spirit of life. Hope and love and happiness do still exist, even when they are invisible, even when they are absent for a time, even when one sees them taken from the innocent and harmless and thrown on the garbage heap. The spring is still coming round again. Even when the wheel of the year seems to be grinding my face in the mud and breaking my back, it is still turning; and the leaf buds are still swelling, the myrobalans are still coming into blossom. I will come out the other side of this. Eventually.