Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Can't Get There From Here or After The Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings and Flew Away

     Desperation has a bouquet all its own. It’s the scent of the hunted, of rage and fear, adrenaline pumping from your pores. Desperation is an outstanding evolutionary culling tool, because it separates the quick and the dead, predator from prey. It sometimes feels like the world is designed to make you desperate, to place you in perilous situations- (the truth is we do it to ourselves, adrenaline junkies, drama queens that we are. We act like it makes us feel alive. By definition you’re alive, dope- the question is whether you’re living. And most of us aren’t.)
       Desperation has a tendency to force you to make choices, to act. It focuses you, makes you more of what you are. If you were smart before, it sharpens your wits, sometimes enough to slit your own throat. If you were (ahem) less than stellar, you tend to get dum ber while under the wire. Desperation is like the Sword of Damocles swinging over your head. Jump one way or the other, you live or you die. Really, you live and you die. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. In life, the thing is, you have to realize that those desperate moments are just that..moments. They can be overcome. Life is like a tunnel and depression is like plaque in your arteries. It can make you sick, squeeze the breath out of you, make you wheeze and shake like a user in rehab. But if life is a tunnel, you are a conduit (to extend the metaphor)- you can expand. Life flows through you and in desperate times, that is when you need most to enbiggen (thanks Simpsons!) yourself, not to seal yourself in. You need to open yourself to the flow, to hope, to inspiration. If the Sword hangs above you, cut through it like Alexander. Trying to force down a big knot of pain, is like trying to swallow one of those horse sized tranquilizer pills that doctors often prescribe for “stress”. It will choke you and it won’t really solve the problem, only exacerbate it. It numbs you and makes you afraid to feel anything- and if you can’t feel anything, what’s the difference between being alive and dead? When you figure that out, it makes all the difference in the world. You can’t get where you want to be in the world by being desperate, or afraid. Desperate rats in a cage may scramble and climb, but they never get anywhere. You are not a rat- you are a conduit, a pipeline for the essence of all things. Don’t close yourself off. Don’t beat your head against the walls. Be still and listen and feel. Then move. Whatever direction you move, you’ll no longer be huddled under the knife. And even if you still don’t know where you’re going, you’ll go straight and proud, walking on the edge.

I do believe that most men live lives of quiet desperation. For despair, optimism is the only practical solution. Hope is practical. Because eliminate that and it's pretty scary. Hope at least gives you the option of living.

Harry Nilsson

Waltz For Life Will Born
I like the idea of waltzing for life- how 'bout you? Shake off your desperation today and dance!

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