Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Coming out of Sadness

I think I have become more aware of the darkness that exists in life, lately. Of how close unemployment is to my friends and loved ones, of how precariously above "poverty" we sit--grateful for our jobs despite the pathetically low salaries. Desperate for a job, any job, in a country with over 20% unemployment.

I have seen the darkness of the human soul, manifest in the untiring japes and jibes of 13-year-old students of mine. The silliness and humor that age can create, the ability to learn--so wonderful!-- but ah! the cruelty and sarcasm and apathy that come along with it. To resist the desire to be a pushover, I conflict with these teenagers, an embittering element to my patient mind. I hope that this too shall pass, and that they mature into gentle and kind adults. It is easier to hope for some than for others.

Or what of the selfishness of people unwilling to give up their seat on a bus or subway for a pregnant woman or an elderly man--at least until their stop comes. What of the people begging, or playing music--well and badly--every single day on the subway? Of not having enough pocket change to give them all something. All these things weigh heavily on my mind, even when I try to shut them out.

I worry about confiding too much, or too little, in people. Of not communicating with those I love most, because the distance and the time between us is too great. Of losing the relationships most precious to me because of sadness, distance, cowardice.

But the silver lining to all this is that I want to rediscover the magic in life, of generosity, of patience, in order to pull my head out of this cloud of sadness. To breathe the outdoor air, to wander in and explore my neighborhood, and this beautiful, ancient country I'm in. To make things and delight in their making, not criticizing myself for their imperfections. To learn things and take joy in the learning process. To rejoice in kindness, to embrace friendship and camaraderie and intimacy.

To Discover. And Love.

This is what I will do.

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