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  • Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal
    with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair.
    It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind
    of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival.
    Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember
    that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain.
    Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.

    ― May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
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    Despair is wanting to leave but not knowing where to go.
    *
    *
    Despair is like sitting in the train station, without a ticket, watching the trains come and go, wondering what it would be like to just jump into an open box car and head off to Idaho Falls, or Tulsa, or Calgary. The further away from all this the better.
    *
    *
    That is despair.
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    Despair is being worn out, worn down, burned out. And yet you go through the motions, and smile your fake little smile, and carry on with the ten thousand things as though nothing is the matter, so you can keep up appearances, so you can keep the game going, keep the game going, keep the game going, because to stop the fakery would be to call the game once and for all, and basically say:”I can’t stand this any more!”
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    Oh, God. The full ecstatic joy of finally speaking up, telling the truth, creating chaos, upsetting the show, tipping over the sets, and banishing despair forever! The freedom of it!
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    *
    Despair is like something you have lost, but won’t admit you have lost, until everything goes into meltdown around you and it is too late to do anything but cry. Only in meltdown do you realize how bad it was, how much pain you were holding in, how your despair bullied you into silence and sacrifice. Only then.
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    Despair is like the elephant in the room that you walk around, pretend is not there, won’t talk about, try to ignore, deny, deny, deny. “What elephant? I don’t see no elephant! No elephant here!”
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    Despair soaks up joy, happiness, enthusiasm, energy, just soaks them up, the way some people have the ability to suck the life out of a room just by sulking, wearing their tattered rags of disapproval and woundedness, their unspoken “Poor me. Poor me!”
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    My despair tonight is something I cannot talk about, do not dare talk about, am afraid to talk about, and I am a brave person. But I cannot talk about my despair. I just walk around the elephant in the room as though he is not there. “What elephant?”
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    I dare not say what is wrong. I may never be able to say what is wrong. I may never confess my despair until I have walked far, far away from the Kill Zone, from this Ground Zero of the Soul, where the despair bombs go off and take my words away from me, dissolving them into vaporous smoke.
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    Despair is a strange, strange place to be. Despair is something like the dead city of Chernobyl in Russia, where the trees have lost their leaves, and where the pigs test radioactive.
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    Despair is like the yellowed ferris wheel that could never be used. Despair is like the cracked, empty swimming pools, like the empty hospitals with their empty beds, like the rusted trucks, the rotting helicopters, like the miles of empty, boarded up houses, like perennial winter, where signs warn:”Do Not Enter These Woods!”
    *
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    Despair is like the radioactive children living their radioactive lives and wondering what happened.
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    I would like to tell you about my despair here, but I can only talk in these circles and spirals of abstractions, like those masses of dark birds that wheel around in the gray sky, appear and then vanish. I hide in metaphors because I am afraid to speak!
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    My despair comes and goes, like those birds: here, not here, here again.
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    Are you perhaps feeling despair as well? Is that why you have read this far? Can you put a name to your despair?

    Do you know who or what is causing it? Do you know what to do to get rid of it? Can you speak up? Can you?
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    Is it helpful to know that you are not alone?
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    Edited and Reposted 10-15-12
    (Photograph by Alex in the 3D virtual world of Second Life)
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