Saturday, September 19, 2009

Darkest Before Dawn?

People say platitudes all the time. Things are darkest before the dawn, you'll be better in the long run, things are all going to be okay, it builds character etc. etc. But what get's to me, today when more and more is crumbling around me and the people I love, is this: The idea that it is darkest before dawn rests on the assumption that dawn will come. What if it doesn't? What if it will - but not for a very long time? What then? Dawn is relative.

For the past day I've been saying that, "it isn't all going to be okay." I believe that this is not me being negative, just realistic. See, I'm not a nihilist or even a fatalist, just sometimes a realist. I believe in the reality that, as much as people don't want to hear this: life is hard and then you die. I DO believe you should live intentionally and vitally in that time in between (not miserably or negative). But I also believe that when the dawn isn't coming - or at least isn't likely to in the foreseeable future - that it is acceptable to believe feel in the non-existential sense, that we are screwed. When you cannot pay your rent, buy food or maintain housing. When the people you love are unsure how they will survive between a & b, who has the right, or the gumption, to sweep in with platitudes?

People say platitudes aren't real until you experience them - but even that is a band-aid to a deep wound - and another platitude. Don't misunderstand, I am happy that many people I love are currently protected, have some semblance of security or even safety nets - but in those nets their well meaning compassion and desire to make it better is sometimes not what is needed or even wanted. It's hard to say that because everyone wants to offer hope, no one wants to say, "Wow, it sounds like you really are screwed. Sucks." So it is hard to throw this out there, but it is also hard to hear "it will be fine" when there is no promise that it will be. There is no "how" in that statement, so I wonder where will it come from? Now this doesn't mean that eventually it won't be, but right now, in the muck, in the eye of the proverbial storm - it isn't.

Anyhow, here are my non-optimistic platitudes for the day:
The well has dried up.
It is the calm BEFORE the storm. (i.e.; there's a storm)

I am feeling like reciting Elliot's The Hollow Men, which is never a positive thing.

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About Me

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Portland, OR, United States
I am a daughter, sister, friend, wife, counselor and colleague. I am a work in progress. There may be some pieces out of place and things might be messy, but it's okay. I would rather accept that I am still unfinished than think that this is it. You can find my comments on faith and spirituality on my blog: And my comments and anecdotes on life at:

Books That Matter. Well, some of the many that matter.

  • Magical Shrinking: Stumbling Through Bipolar Disorder, Chris Wells
  • Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • An Abudance of Katherines, John Green
  • Dave Pelzer
  • Franny & Zooey, J.D. Salinger
  • I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Sloane Crosley
  • The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris
  • The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are, Daniel J. Siegel