August 16, 2012

gloomy thursday

It is a gloomy day, outside and in. Overcast, moody skies furrow their brows at me with darkening countenances as the rain comes and goes. Even in their brightest moments, the heavens are dully cast in a solid, disheartening grey. The light inside is eerie too, as shadows overtake the furniture and objects, distorting their shapes and positions. Vibrant colors fade into thin, haunting versions of themselves. There is no escaping the light's reach, only the relief of glowing yellow bulbs in this corner or that, which somehow make a summer day feel even more wrong than their gloomy alternative.
And the gloom continues, reaching inside of me, casting all my person grey as well. Some of it comes from external circumstances: the weather, and my headache, and a funeral today which I was unable to attend, for a person whose passing came too soon. She is gone before her kids are old enough to begin to make sense of the thing that makes no real sense to any of us anyway. Another friend faces an important surgery today, and thoughts of him and his family monopolize our consciousness as we wait to hear how the surgery went. A million other little grey facts well up within me: concerns for those I love, answers I do not have, awareness of the million tiny failures that could mount up to something tragic if I let them. These grey monsters take no specific form; instead, they power a numb and blurry ache within me. The ache tells me to quit, to stop trying, to count my losses and move on, to go back to something I could be good at, to stop believing my love matters to anyone anyway. And I do not feel like writing at all.
But there are whispers of hope and joy as well; little bits of gratitude come to me, knocking softly at the door of my mind, asking me to welcome them in and let them stay awhile. I have so much to be grateful for. My life is not a gloomy one. I have so many reasons to be happy and embrace my many gifts. I have love and comfort and freedom and safety, and these are only the beginning. If I lit hundreds or thousands of candles in our small apartment, one for every small joy, would these flickers of hope unite to cast away the gloom? 
The gloom does not suit me; it is not who I was created to be. It will wash over me from time to time, and it will sometimes lodge itself inside me for awhile, and it may even threaten every joy. But I can hold on tightly to what hope I might; I can keep my arms around every little piece worth saving, until the wave passes over. I can choose to hold on and wait it out. I can't control all the risk, but I can choose what I will do with the things that are up to me. Today might have to be a grey and gloomy day. And I might have to be OK with that, in order to stand ready and waiting for a sunnier day to come. I will believe that I will feel like writing again soon. I will try my best to think of all those flickering candles today, and feel comfort in the fact that I can wait out the gloom just like the summer storm outside: this too shall pass. 

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