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Doing Despair

Doing Despair


 Life is pretty good.  Things are better than just Ok.  At least compared to the wretched scenes of natural mass destruction, chaos, war, poverty, political confusion and complicated issues heard nightly in the newscasts.  At least for me and for most the people I know.  At least at the moment.

There are, of course, the good news networks, rags and writings that, in spite of it all, radiate hope and solutions, so necessary to the counterpoint.  And I’m grateful for that.  But I’m not fooled.  Because behind, under or alongside all that appears to be going well, no matter what they say, or I tell myself, there is despair.  The daily deal is how to do it.

That’s my plight and it’s luxurious. Really?  A plight that’s luxurious?  Yes, because I am lucky enough to be spared most of what would send me spiraling into a despair that I can’t climb out of.  So far.  That’s a luxury compared to so many; in Japan, Haiti, Africa, or the barrios and ghettos of the world. I can get around it, put it where it belongs, but I still know it’s there.  I can feel it.  There is just no way to end it, stop it or ignore despair.  It exists.  It’s always just around the bend.

There but for the grace of God, go any of us.  And even with God’s merciful grace overall, no one entirely escapes despair.  People we love become ill, suffer and die.  People we know have terrible things happen to them.  The daily deal is how to do despair while simultaneously doing hope or optimism or even simple acceptance of what essentially IS.

Despair feels like the shadow government of my life.  It works behind the scenes, is exempt from the usual rules, doing what it will when it wants without regard to free will.  I cannot deny this shadow.  I can’t pretend, for long, that it has no hold on me.  I can, however, from time to time, with Very Great Determination, put it in it’s place:  behind me.  Still, the truth is that the most I can do on any given day is position despair beside me.  And I’ll admit I prefer to keep an eye on it, know where it is, what it’s up to, so that it isn’t as able to catch me unawares, roll over me, buckle my knees, or break my heart more than a few times a day.

That’s just how I do despair on a daily basis.  And I am so blessed and grateful to have lived this long and still be able to keep pace.  Today is my birthday and it is a luxury I am not taking for granted.  And I’m happy, because despair has apparently decided to throttle back and allow me a carefree celebration in a sunny paradise, even though I am aware it is still lurking in the shadows.  Thank You.  Stay put.