[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   ]

This morning there’s a burning in my heart to express something, but it wasn’t until I received the following in my mail that I realized where I was walking once again.

Quote: “Despair is the state in which anxiety and restlessness are immanent to existence. Nobody in despair suffers from “problems”, but from his own inner torment and fire. It’s a pity that nothing can be solved in this world. Yet there never was and there never will be anyone who would commit suicide for this reason. So much for the power that intellectual anxiety has over the total anxiety of our being! That is why I prefer the dramatic life, consumed by inner fires and tortured by destiny, to the intellectual, caught up in abstractions which do not engage the essence of our subjectivity. I despise the absence of risks, madness and passion in abstract thinking. How fertile live, passionate thinking is! Lyricism feeds it like blood pumped into the heart! ― Emil M. Cioran, On the Heights of Despair – 1933)

Some of us exist as bog fires. We burn, winter and summer and we are impossible to extinguish. Why? Because no one understands the source of our fire.

In fact, I don’t understand it either, it just is. Perhaps I should use the term “burning bush” because the more we burn, the more we have to burn. Nothing is consumed. No entropy here, quite the opposite. The world and its desires may well pass away, over and over, but this struggling thing I call “me” remains, dies, returns, again and again.

Why? If ‘nothing can be solved in this world’ (see above quote) why return? In those nebulous times in-between endless strings of lives, do we forget? Do we re-arrive here all innocent, a tabula rasa, having no remembrances of having walked through vales of tears and mountains of glory, in bare feet or harsh armour? Of hunger and surfeit? Of enslavement and mastery?

Passing through, surviving (to what end?) and perhaps fixing a few little things, I know I will not solve, nor resolve any of this world’s major and obvious problems. For those solutions I must defer to greater aspects of life than me. When I was young and my fire burned on the surface I would not have accepted this truth but now that I have gone underground and the burning is steady and controlled, I realize it is how it should be. I am not the conscience of this world, or any world or reality. Suffice that I am my own and that I have the power within myself, finally, to understand how to control that tiny part of all that is.

As Victor Frankl wrote: “Who would bring light must endure burning” Passion is burning. Some time back, feeling my burning, I wrote the following. Perhaps another in similar pain will receive validation; take comfort from these words, they are not empty utterances:

Where Hope fails Despair will Serve
[a poem by ~burning woman~ ]
There, I’ve shown you:
No hope, no hope left
Not for you, not for them.
Your children are dying
Don’t you see? Are you blind?
I’ve taken away every strand
Of your pitifully weak hope
And what can you do now
But admit my power,
And bow to the inevitable, to me?

She looks upon her foe as he gloats over her,
She turns and stares ahead
At a land stretching before her tired eyes
Dark, menacing, parched, dead.
She hears the incomprehensible,
The language of the damned, tortured screams
Rise from places she cannot name.

She looks down at the children
Cowering at her bloody feet
Whimpering, hungry, frightened,
Shivering in their bits of rags;
Her own clothes in no better shape.
She feels the hollowness
Of her own body and tired mind
Dragging her down to yield,
To sleep and to forget.

This must be the end she reasons once again,
And I’ve been misled, lied to, to take this way
Try to lead the children and find a way of escape:
I cannot go further; I have nothing left.

Her enemy laughs again.
You’re done then, hey?
Say yes, give up, give up!

“No!” she says turning to face him,
Her cracked lips bleeding:
This isn’t our end, this is our beginning.
Hope there may no longer be;
No comfort may be waiting
When we walk from here but know this:
Where hope fails, as it often must,
There is always despair.

Rousing the children
She leads them into the darkness:
We shall not be his slaves
She tells them,
Let death take us then if that’s how it must be.

But it wasn’t death that waited there,
It was freedom earned
From courage to say “No,”
Taking that last resolute step
Where he could never follow.

Despair is the end of all power usage and as rawgod said to me commenting on another post, “Non-use of power IS the ultimate use of power. To have it, and refuse to use it, that is powerful.”  I am just beginning to understand what that means, and the personal costs associated with it.

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23 thoughts on “Despair must serve where Hope fails

  1. Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café

    That quote by rawgod reminds me of a quote by Carl Jung:
    “The human being who starts by withdrawing his own shadow from his neighbour is doing work of immense, immediate political and social importance.” – Carl Jung (as quoted by Sir Laurence v.d Post)

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you. Freedom can never take root where there is any kind of imposition (of it). Freedom comes from acceptance, never from force. In keeping then, healing, whether of an individual, or a society, will never be arrived it through intervention, it has to come from within; from a clean mind. It will never happen while people vote, demonstrate, scream and yell for laws and rules of order imposed by any authority.

      Reply
  2. Lisa R. Palmer

    And so… from the deepest darkest places in the human heart springs hope, eternal and resolute.

    Powerful, inspiring write, Sha’Tara! Such honesty, openness, depth and trust that I feel love (and yes, compassion) rising from the darkness within, revealing but a speck of light to my tear-blurred vision…

    “Save them. Save the children…” (the children of Earth) – such has been the message most consistently thrown my way in recent days, and this piece only adds to that momentum.

    Thank you…

    Reply
  3. stolzyblog

    I know of a legend, and believe it true, that all warmth in all worlds, all real fire, is but a byproduct of inconceivable sacrifice on the parts of exalted beings whose nature is so beyond our grasp that we must approach them not with thought but with awe. This is kindred to your burn, this fiery warmth. Nothing is ever stronger than sacrifice. Suns consist of this.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks! This must be the essence of what I replied to when talking about trees to Lisa. No one wants to suffer, of course (except those with serious mental conditions) but when it becomes the path to giving life, then it is taken on and as long as the path needs to be travelled, one will not just walk through the fire, but be the brazier also. It is awesomely strange to discover that one possesses such a nature…

      Reply
      1. stolzyblog

        yes, it is. we shy back from it, almost unable to believe it, or can even fear it. but it is, I think, a deep part of us.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you Roger. It’s quite “funny” that I awoke this morning with a thought that I had a child by the hand and my words to him were, “Come, we must: let’s ride on!” incorporating two meanings of “blaze” as in burning to give light but also to blaze a trail…

      Reply
  4. franklparker

    Blaze on, Indeed! And never forget the truism that ‘where there is life there is hope’. The prisoner can dream of release, the slave of freedom; and those of us who are free must work to fulfill those hopes. Never despair – and never believe that suffering in the here and now leads to redemption in some future existence. Only here and now can suffering end through the good will and kindness of our fellows.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks Frank! Good will and kindness, that is so true. I keep telling myself that regardless of the storms around me, this “kindness” and “good will” can only manifest if “I” am such. It does not depend on anyone else. That is so difficult to apprehend and to actually think that way.

      Reply
  5. Regis Auffray

    A deep and thought-awakening literary offering overall and your poem very effectively complements your essay.

    Thank you for sharing.

    “Be well as you will.”

    Régis

    On Fri, Aug 3, 2018 at 10:49 AM, ~Burning Woman~ wrote:

    > Sha’Tara posted: “[thoughts from ~burning woman~ ] This morning > there’s a burning in my heart to express something, but it wasn’t until I > received the following in my mail that I realized where I was walking once > again. Quote: “Despair is the state in which anxiety a” >

    Reply
  6. Hyperion

    Such wisdom here. I lived the essence of this post for many years and it was dispair that connected me to the desire to understand the necessity of suffering to enlighten the soul and gain wisdom from it. It is a call to rise if we heed it. So nice to meet you and I look forward to more.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Hyperion. I’m glad to “meet” you also. I’ve started checking out your blog and I’ve decided it’s a definite “follow”.

      Reply
      1. Hyperion

        Thank you, Sha’Tara! Here is an eclectic musing of memories and imaginations bound loosely to a theme that all the many different petals of love and the thorns of suffering are an eternal marriage. It’s a little bit eccentric but I do hope you find it interesting.

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