I received a call in the middle of the night, a call that chased away my sleep for the remainder of the night and that left me with a heavy heart and with a sense of futility and helplessness. The soft voice at the other end was calm and measured, but there was a certain desperation and an almost seductiveness to it. After the call ended, I felt an emptiness inside. Gone was my resolve to add my little drop to the bucket, to leave my little mark, to do what wee bit I could. The expression of need at that hour of the night from that individual was like the need of the world writ large, and in that moment I felt alone. I also felt a sense of my own need. My own lack and paucity vis a vis the things of this life became palpable. But not only that, the idea of the profound deprivation among the many became instantly overwhelming. I wanted to board the next plane, to run away, to escape, back to New York City (an absurdity considering...).
I spent the rest of the night tossing fitfully in bed. Even sleep was disheartened and discouraged by the call and thus took flight. I got up at first light still burdened, overwhelmed, heavy, smothered, and somewhat angry. Angry at what? I could not tell. I know there was an army out there, but I kept thinking there was only one of me. It's 6:00 A.M., and the kiskadees, wrens, and other feathered friends are out and about and with their singing bringing back some measure of calm to my inner turbulence. And I am slowly becoming resigned to the reality of my lack of silver and gold, but it is my "such-as-I-have" (which, as far as I can determine, is nothing) that is the puzzle. I am trying to figure out what that is, and maybe the knowledge of what it is will put me back on track and rekindle my resolve.
[photo art by Ric Couchman]