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Waking Up Despair

Waking up to despair,
sadness,
bone-tired at war with a beeping alarm clock,
an alarming list of immediately urgent responsibilities
without an opportunity in sight,
or at least not this first despairing fright,
at end of night.

If this sounds familiar
as at least your normal Monday through Friday,
you probably need a better way toward bed
the night before.

Most likely, earlier.

But also,
even for many with mindfulness practices,
disciplines
with their own short and long-term rewards
for both natural and spiritual health,
remembering gratitude
is our interior face
of grace’s exterior face,
or karma’s exterior influences,
or love’s potential winners winning
full circle in theory,
yet too anemic during this dreaded alarm clock time.

If yours is solely a morning contemplative practice,
after you wave the kids off to school,
after the gym or the run,
after the personal hygiene,
it is already too late
to optimize your opportunity
to wake up with least claustrophobic despair
and most expansive hope
building toward faith
that this day just might be even better
than yesterday,
as utterly remarkable as yesterday appeared
as you were mindfully drifting off to sleep
perhaps even before greeting GrandMother Moon’s
new through full repeat performances.

She’ll be here all week,
visible and sometimes invisible,
guarding your restorative rights and responsibilities
toward regenerating tomorrow’s realistic gratitude
for renewed opportunities
to brush your teeth,
and greet each child and significant other,
to notice if these wake with a smile
toward this day,
or with a scowl
for lack of sleep
or a good dream interrupted,
and recognizing how this is two ways
of saying one important not yet thing
which can build toward despair,
and further lack of more therapeutic dreams.

It is an important personal and also political choice
to prepare for sleep
repairing for tomorrow’s grace
or in dread against our memories of grace’s lack,
apparent absence,
persistently stuck issues
too overwhelming to think or feel our way out of,
through,
beyond.

These are important items for evening contemplation too.
But, when I am making my lists,
I start with minuses,
drift off counting my appositional pluses.
They are both there
within us
if we can choose restorative faith
after our lights turn out.

In this sense
we can choose our karma,
our awareness of positive and negative grace.
Love’s tones of restorative therapy
and retributive punishment,
if not yet quite overwhelming gratitude,
also not awakening to further despair
from chronic days of self with other abuse and neglect.

I continue having a dream
that the night everyone in military-industrialized cultures
drifts off feeling graced with opportunities
to become and do every cooperative thing we can
to guarantee Earth’s future of healthy exterior climates,
that is the night before our first morning
arising together
without overwhelming internal competing despairs.

Faith that this restorative therapeutic day
could unfold no less grand
than this dream we shared
our polypathic
demilitarizing
dis-industrializing
less exhausting night before.

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