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Hope and Despair

Posted Sep 26 2008 5:17pm

Fellow writer Jane Devin wrote a profound and provocative post in the form of a letter to Vincent Van Gogh. Feeling a deep connection to Jane and her soul-baring words, and having a long-held attachment to Van Gogh, I responded with the comments below:

Our Dear Jane,

Despair not. Although it seems the earth is harshly and radically shifting, in reality she has never been quiescent. It is we who have lost our balance.

Some of us grew shaky, drunkenly falling for false promises made during intoxicating, prosperous times. From some, balance was stolen, as darkness cloaked the thief; or the dusk wooed us into thinking wonder was ahead, and we believed. And some of us simply failed to take good care and let balance slip away, like a lamb left unguarded in the dark of night.

And darkness came.

In the dark, we feel and fear the grasping hands, the pointing fingers, the greed and lack of warmth. It is frightening.

But darkness lasts only so long, and then light destroys it for a time.

In the light, with clear eyes, we see that, like greed and politics and power-brokering brutes, the drafts girls and potato eaters and coffee pourers have always been here. We’ve been overlooked, not recognized by others and ourselves, and in some hearts, judged “less than,” but we’ve been here. And now we must assert what we know to be right and good, we must restore balance.

We are the source of the light and the warmth. It is not them. It is we. We need not buy their false hope and skewed reality. We must join our frail lights together to illuminate a path of change and then follow it. We create hope and possibilities.

With boldness and courage, our barkers cry out the truth when the emperor has no clothes. The drafts girls and icons of change imagine, create and inspire for a better truth. The laborers work the plan, the coffee pourers and potato farmers provide sustenance, the shepherdesses gently lead the young and frightened out of the darkness and into the light, and the dreamers weave the fabric the will protect us when the cold darkness comes again. Because it will. But we will be ready.

Yes, Jane, it is we. It is you and me and all the others who feel right from wrong, recognize basic decency and the lack thereof, and know in our souls that we can be better.

And we can.

Yes. We can.


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