Friday, August 23, 2013

The Power of Despair

I’m no longer driven by hope but by despair. It may seem odd, such choice of fuel, but it’s one that never seems to run out. It is the ocean and hope is but the oil spilled upon its surface by some twist of fate. The ocean endless, as it seems, but past encounters of oil, make more of it a possibility. To me hope seems like the accident that stirred a raging sea of despair to silence. Except that, hope is the life giving water and despair is the poisonous oil. I use the metaphor for size. 

Somewhere along the road I realized we were not destined to win. It’s not that we were defeated but I realized there will be no definitive moment of triumph where one can decidedly rest. All we’ll have are moments that seem like victories which we’ll discover to be milestones that may be easily swept away from underneath our feet. 

I fell into the ocean realizing the futility of trying. I fell and tried to fight it, but as I searched for changes to comfort me, I recognized one unchangeable fact: that I had changed. Who I changed to became more important than where I am at. I may stumble upon victory or hope, but the real triumph is of the soul. 

I realized that all I needed to worry about was who I carried with me on this journey. I realized  that  who I carried along, was me. Along the way, inside that sea, I saw many and I recognized myself in them, and hoped they recognized themselves in me. Too many were sinking, looking for that blotch of oil, but in that search, by existing, it was them that kept me afloat. It is in them that I experience small triumphs; in them that I bore the poisonous sea. 

So I glide through the sea, hoping to stumble upon a patch of life giving oil. It was that which kept me going at first, but in the end I realized it may not even be oil that we find. Yet we’re all searching for the patch of oil, that safe place where a glimmer of victory can be glimpsed. Some keep on swimming in that hope, some rest their backs upon the sea and look up to the sky, reflecting on past hopes. Some dive underneath for a while and close their eyes, but despair is not so easy to live with, they must come up for air. Many like me, still struggle to keep their head above the water, half immersed in despair, half breathing the air.

Then once in a while we find just enough of us, standing close enough, speaking to and hearing one another. That is the blotch of oil we seem to stumble across from time to time. I recognize that oil in those around me and that is what keeps me going and that is why I do not let go.