Friday, July 09, 2010
I am not alone.
No, I don't have a "Death Wish," as the Newsweek cover proclaims. Nor, though, do I at the moment have a particular "Life Wish." When you're as saddened as I am, perhaps best not to read, as I have, over a 3-day period of time with no other stimuli, Anne Sexton's poems, a biography of Sexton, "The Executioner's Song" (about killer Gary Gilmore), and "Shot in the Heart" (Mikal Gilmore's history of his broken, literally haunted family).
In my state of mind, to be simultaneously horrified, yet enlightened, in such a profound way...like I felt when listening to Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and seeing the movie when I was 18, when I was desperately wondering if anyone else in the Universe had ever felt as utterly sad and hopeless as I did.
All of what I've been reading continually over the past several days answered both of the questions that I'd been asking: (1) "Yes, life can indeed be this bad." but also (2) "Yes, there is other sadness out there as great, or much greater, than yours. You are not alone."
Here is the last paragraph of Mikal Gilmore's book (after he wakes up crying from a family nightmare):
I get up and look at the clock. It is four-thirty in the morning. I go into the kitchen and pour myself a glass of whiskey. I go back and sit up in bed in the darkness. I sit there a long time. I finish my whiskey, slip under the covers, pull a pillow over my head to keep out the horrible morning light I hate so much. I curl up and I tell myself: "It will never be all right. Never. It will never be all right." I say this to myself over and over, until I find enough comfort in the words that I am able to fall asleep again.
Wow. The realization that, despite what I write or what videos I post, it really will never be all right. It will never be all right. I'm stunned. Always thought I was so honest and tough. Always thought there was the possibility of healing. Nah. Here's real honesty staring me in the face. In the face of "it will never be all right," can I truly carry on?
Mikal Gilmore breaks my heart. Gary Gilmore breaks my heart. Anne Sexton breaks my heart. Sylvia Plath breaks my heart. "The Wall" breaks my heart. Sandra breaks my heart. My parents broke, and break, my heart. My heart is broken. I am broken.
But I am not alone.