Archive for January, 2016

The history of unemployment

January 20, 2016


Love is all around

January 11, 2016

Last night I had a marvelous dream, one of the kind that can take years to arrive and which lingers in the mind long afterward. Following a string of interactions with other people and in a decidedly public venue, a gangly man dressed in goth clothing offered to massage my aching lower back. “What do you need?” he asked my body, and while he bent to soothe its ills, he told me he’d noticed how much I gave to others without asking for anything in return. “Thank you for saying that,” I answered, allowing tears to flow. When I returned from straightening up in the ladies’ room, he was gone.  The band played “The Way You Look Tonight,” and while I was sad the man wasn’t there so I could sing the words to him as we danced, I knew it was the recognition of my best achievement – this detached expression of love and support – that had been the gift, not the person himself.

When I awoke, the night still held dawn at bay, and I dressed warmly and went out to view Venus and Saturn shining together on the eastern horizon.  Days of clouds and rain had prevented my witnessing their closest approach, but still it was a beautiful coupling of the planets associated with romantic love and stoic discipline.

When I was young, the long plodding toward a goal was the last thing I thought would make me happy. Because I was afraid of the rigidity and depression I had witnessed, I thought the only way to prevent this was to follow passion as it arose, heedlessly. My logic was immature, no more than an extension of a childish vow to avoid my parents’, and their parents’, mistakes. Still, in my own round-about manner, I searched for ecstasy, and when I found it, mistook the feeling as one generated by the person I was with. When that person left my life, when I was alone, it was impossible to feel loved, to feel love. Anger, resentment, blame – which really are more palatable versions of fear – would reside in my heart as I tried not to sink into the emotional emptiness that had always terrified me.

I like to think the dream was given to me as a sign that I’ve come out the other side of that desert. With almost seven years of solitude behind me and perhaps more to come, I know that even with no one recognizing my best (and worst) qualities, they still exist. A flower that blooms unseen is no less a flower. Two planets hidden behind dark clouds still shine. My goals, my dreams, are mine and if I don’t realize them, that failure is mine as well. But I will soldier on, with stoic discipline and love.