My defense mechanisms of choice have always been denial and fantasy. If an important situation or person is not to my liking, I can usually spin it or them into line with my fantasy version. I have avoided a lot of misery through the years this way! The collage above captures this pretty well. There, for all to see is my magical child-like self banking on a miracle! (I don’t plan these things.)
In my last blog installment I shared that I am teetering on the edge of a “fiscal cliff” of my own– seeing the pension that was funding my dreams suddenly and mysteriously evaporating before my eyes.
It is only at night now that I sink into bag lady fear. For the most part, I am practicing what I preach and living in the moment. And I still have hope that this has all been a dreadful mistake, or that there is some way to negotiate a better outcome. I also know that law is its own sort of madness, with rules and precedents that aren’t always based on what I think is fair or just. But sometimes life surprises me.
Yesterday this beautiful poem by Marlene Mish arrived by email:
Hope teeters upon the wings
Of your broken heart,
Balancing loneliness and despair.
Hope sits in the hollow stillness
Next to the raw places within you
And lights a small candle.
Hope believes that next time
The story will come out different
And gives you courage to stand
And take a step.
Hope is all there is
When all there was is
Hope teeters upon the edges
Of your wary spirit
That has lost it way too many times
And grabs your collar before
The tears engulf you
And shouts, “You made it through !”
Hope is a distant voice whispering a lullaby
When all others
Scream, “Give up!”
Hope is the last word of God
You hear before you close your eyes,
The only proof that you are not alone.
“You are beautiful, my child.
Why have you forgotten again?”
Hope is the one gift that survived Eden,
The only language of love,
The last promise that won’t be broken,
And yet it teeters
On the edges of things
While you look for answers
Marlene Mish, August 24, 2003
Marlene shared a little bit about the inspiration for this poem:
Today is a good day.
Today I can see clearly that life is a series of ups and downs and that no matter how hopeless things can get, no matter how broken I may feel, I know that the sun will rise at dawn and I have a choice whether to greet it. But that wasn’t always so.
There have been times when I felt defeated by life, defeated by my own choices, defeated by the demons what swirl around in my soul, waiting to take root.
I wrote this poem in 2003 on such a day when sorrow had overtaken me, when defeat was all around me, when I had lost my way. I share it only because it is so hard to remember who we are on such days and I need to remind myself every once in a while that most isolation is self-imposed even though I have always sought out someone to blame.
I have made some progress on this journey, and so I can share a private part of it with others without losing.”
One reader expressed confidence that I would get through this pension thing with grace, and I think of that often. Now that is something to work toward . . . to take on all of life with grace (after a kicking and screaming tantrum, of course.)
I am nothing if not resilient. And though I hate to admit it, I am already teasing out silver-linings.