Yet the noble despair of the poets
Is nothing of the sort; it is silly
To refuse the tasks of time
And, overlooking our lives,
Cry – “Miserable wicked me,
How interesting I am.”
We would rather be ruined than changed,
We would rather die in dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.
― W. H. Auden, The Age of Anxiety
We live in an anxious time. We’ve always lived in an anxious time, mind you, for to be human is to wear the anxiety of our frailty on our sleeve, but lately, it seems to be more controlling and mean-spirited in some circles than it was for awhile there. Simply put, some folks are indignantly holding on to their illusions and will demonize and destroy those who dare to believe anything contrary to them.
What are we to do but find our own way? The boldest thing we can do in this world is to stop following along with the expectations of others and move towards what calls us. The bravest thing in the world is to question that calling and change course. Life is a series of questions, answered or tossed aside indefinitely. What will it be, for you and me?
The tricky thing about writing every day is the daily reckoning with the elephant in the room. The truth shall set you free, they say. Perhaps, but it would be far easier to dabble in distraction to the end. Ah, but that’s not the life of the poet or the philosopher, is it? Nor is it our lot to reach the end without stirring this complex stew of being and becoming. We must dance with our elephants, and wonder at where it takes us. And, if we would be bold, to place it out there to stir something in others.