Existential crises

There are times when the sheer existential futility of everything threatens to stall – or worse, undermine everything we work for. Family crises come in all shapes and sizes, and come in battalions, to challenge everything we do, and everything we believe in. So, what do we do about that? Answers on a postcard…please.

I have wept, and raged at the unfairness of life. I have come to think that all I did and thought and believed was a waste, a desert of futility and puerile idiocy, the ranting of a deluded soul. I have wished I could run away – don’t we all – knowing that the only run I could manage was a futile, shuffling shamble, probably in the wrong direction, knowing my feeble sense of direction. Music, usually such a panacea didn’t help, and the sun, the lovely flowers dropping willingly from every clothed branch, became a taunt in this beautiful season of blossom, warm breezes and buzzing bees.

And then, some sign of love, some sweet breath of laughter, some curious glance of humour, willingness or understanding, will disarm me totally, and I will begin to let go of anger, the horrible feeling of pointlessness. And that melting, like the thawing of ice, like the smoothing of jagged rocks, will let me go, so that I slide away to something warmer, and more comfortable.


Thank God. I have to believe that everything I do is worthwhile, even the less wonderful things. Meantime, I write and write, and edit, and hope that the story which I am writing – and which keeps wriggling away from my grasp and turning into something else – comes right in the end.

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