Dairy Post: the color of despair

I have been very ill for several days now, and one quite close to me is in the hospital and very ill.  (It’s not my story, it’s not mine to tell.) His illness has weighed heavily on me and the stress of his care has impacted my health profoundly.
Huda visited last weekend and yesterday Rheim came by.  They cannot imagine how important their visits are.  Emails from Sonali, Dima and Dorothy and phone conversations with my sister, Mary and Andy broke up the monotony and the drone of my own mind that fills me with bitter thoughts and self deprecation.  Leon and Andy are both away this week.  The isolation is like death.   I watch plants grow.  Time moves that slowly.  My biggest goal is to reach the kitchen and prepare healthy foods.  I have had just enough strength to get to the local farmers’ market and to keep my own meager garden green.
I want to be happy, not happy; content, focused, purposeful.  I wish so much to be part of something greater than myself.  I feel as if I have disappeared.  Everything, everyone  goes on without me.  It is as if I do not exist.  I wish so much to find work that I can do that doesn’t break my body, that provides me with enough sustenance to assure that we have food, shelter, health care; work that also adds to the greater good; the resistance of ordinary seeds, the chorus of broken voices.
It feels as if I am making no progress in my life.  Andy reminds me: I am studying Reiki, my garden grows beautifully.  I have such greater aspirations though.  Essays I have not finished, promises I have not kept, letters I have not written.  I am bursting.  I want to run, paint, write, cook, love, play, collaborate but I can barely lift my head some days.
I am afraid of hope.  It is the most dangerous emotion. I indulge in it only to collapse in what at least to me feels like profound failure.  I thought I would have more control over my own life, my fate, my future; than this.  When met with adversity I used to simply work harder, longer, fiercer.  Today this is not an option. Neither my tenacity nor my resourcefulness seem to be of service either.  I do not know how to get out of this hole. It seems the only tool I have that works is a shovel.
What is the color of despair?  I am tired of telling the same story.  This blog stayed empty for days.  What more is there to say?  If silence is death, and I believe it is, do I have the right to remain mute?  Where are the others who dare to tell the truth from sick beds in a strange society where illness is failure, weakness;  where the victim is blamed for the affliction?
In Los Angeles we do not live in our neighborhoods. We try courageously to maintain community over distance and freeway.  The cost of living forces so many of us away from deep personal connections.  Ambition and responsibility replace community and connection.  A real movement for social justice would combine all that.   We hide in our pair bonds.  There are so many reasons not to trust.  Betrayal is a contact sport played on fields of broken glass.  We smile. Measure each other in outer appearances.  Feed corporate consumerism.  We are afraid to touch.  Mask intimacy in air kisses.
I chose long ago to err on the side of love.  On a good day I live with an open broken heart.  Today I want to bury my heart under the raspberry bush.  Sweet berries protected by heavy thorns.

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