Dark Waltz

This was written only a week or two ago, but details don’t matter.

We are the lucky ones.

We are the blessed ones.

Who can tell what on this great blessed earth we are?

Last week was a challenge. I’ve had a challenging month, a challenging summer, a challenging marriage, a challenging life. But let’s just focus on last week.

On Monday I reached the point where I had time to think about how I was feeling. I greeted my suddenly observant self with a strong desire to run away. I wanted to run from my life, to run physically from my apartment. I hated my life in a way that I have not felt in three years. I considered the irony of my emotions in light of the fact that what I really wanted was to be alone with Josh. Running away from home is a great way to achieve that, right?

On Wednesday I broke down in a way barely recognizable as a breakdown. You see, I am accustomed to seeing my life as a failure. I live daily with the knowledge that I am not good enough to live my life. When I look for areas of success to balance out a particularly negative day, I find nothing. Looking at my peers serves only to confirm that which I already know: I am far, far from where I should be.

Yet on Wednesday I was overwhelmed by how unlikely my success is. Of course I don’t think of it as success, but my life is amazingly good compared to what it should be.

As I crashed under the weight of others’ lives falling apart, I drowned in the goodness of my own life.

It should not be this way. There is no reasonable explanation1 for why I have a good life. Sure, I made choices. Josh made choices too. But why did I make those choices? Why was I born with the delayed-gratification-loving gene?

My life should be so, so much worse than it is.

I look at the difference between my life and the lives of some whom I love and I cannot fathom why there is such a difference. I am crazed by my inability to come up with a way to give them a little of what I have.

I don’t even believe in luck, but maybe, maybe it is true. I am lucky.

There is nothing to be done about this terrible truth. I still live with the pain of daily life, though goodness knows I am skilled at carrying on without processing the full weight of reality. I still live with the feelings of bleakness in my own life, and the devastating grief that always comes from caring about more than a very few others.

I am peculiarly blessed. There is something very dark about that. Yet all I can do is to attempt to live calmly in the light while remembering the truth to the best of my ability.


1. Other than pure randomness, of course, but I’ve never found that a satisfactory explanation.

Of course I hate the thought of being a “lucky one” because where there is luck there is no way to bring others into the dance. And yet it is a sin in the deepest sense to believe myself to be unfortunate when I am blessed unthinkably.

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4 thoughts on “Dark Waltz

  1. Kathleen Basi

    I think the hard moments when we look in the mirror and want something different are an invitation…an invitation to change, an invitation to grace…who knows WHAT it’s an invitation to, but an invitation nonetheless. Hugs.

  2. Diana

    Life has taken care of me, yet I haven’t done anything Really to deserve it. It’s been a hard day and I feel I should be more grateful instead of swimming in this sea of self-doubt. I want to contribute to the well being of the world, but how can I when I am so hard on myself.
    Blessing to you all.

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