Monthly Archives: September 2014

Strained Optimism

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I’ve always considered myself a realistic optimist. A person with deep gratitude for the tragic beauty of the world and humanity. This has always been a strained position to hold. A stance that feels against the cultural stream of nihilism, dissatisfaction and self flagellations. Often this struggle has left me depleted and I have a history of chronic depression to show for it. I now understand that these moments of despair simply mean that I have lost my footing in the cultural stream and have been swept away into the world of powerlessness, and fear. I, in those moments, am unable to get proper perspective of the human condition, to understand that imposable things happen every day and that magic is real. I’ve seen them, I’ve manifested the most impossible wishes, to many to count, to many to write down. I have experience that best part of humanity in my mothers unconditional love, in a strangers kindness, in my paint brush.

Well today was definitely a struggle to not get swept away. The media is full of end of the world headlines, facebook is a buzz with the worst of human struggles, my mother, a chronic pessimist was quick to confirm the misery of human existence and I feel the tug of hopelessness.

I give myself a moment to surrender to despair (just a moment) and then a I remind myself of the desperate need for the dreamers of this world. The visionaries, the artist, the hopeful. God the world needs us! What I know is that the world is what we believe it to be and if I look to an outside voice to define my world it would no doubt be a horror. But I believe in human kindness, and generosity, in the deep beauty of this world. I believe in the power of love and art and I imagine the best parts of us, all the micro kindness and miracles, add up to something big. Something that is as powerful a force as any war or disaster.

What I know is that what you focus on expands and I pray that our collective hearts start focusing on our beauty and our worthiness. That is liberation. That is an optimist’s salvation.

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