Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday Meme: Berrywinter’s “Hope.”

In Shadow

Berry has had some tragedy recently, and her darling tormenter and friend, Winter, called the rest of us to rally around with our stories of heartbreak and hope. It's hard to lose someone, whether from the death of a relationship or the death of a person. There are times when I feel like there are never tears enough - no matter how much I cry, more remains unshed. Like some people, I have an "inner landscape" of breath-taking complexity, and the base of it, what the islands of my soul rise out of, is the sea of all of the tears I've shed, fed by the rivers and oceans of suffering of the world. It's a melodramatic sort of thing, and yet it is vivid and real to me. My suffering is minor in the face of many, including my own clients who I help and support through their own suffering, and yet if there's one thing I've learned it is that every person's suffering, no matter how different the degree, should be treated seriously and with compassion.

I've had my heart broken a few times, but by far the most painful have been from relationships that were not romantic. The betrayal by my father, by an ex-boyfriend, the loss of loved ones when they died - those all wounded me deeply in a way I still feel today. There is a way in which I cling to that pain, wanting the suffering to have mattered in some fundamental manner, and insofar as it gives me a window crack into the suffering of others, I suppose it serves me well. In terms of whether I open myself for other kinds of loss, however, I think I've become more cowardly than I might admit to - I've not loved deeply for a very long time, and there are times I wonder if I am capable of it. 

Maybe I Can Rise Above

When I was in my early twenties, my best friend died.

It was in a car accident, and I was a passenger in the car and the second most injured, but I and the others walked away from it. While my best friend was in the ICU, her parents hovered around me, and those moments have as much laughter as tears; as much wry humor as fear.

A few months after, my grandfather died. Like my best friend, he lingered near death for a while until the end. Unlike my best friend, I saw him like that and I smelled the scent of death for the first time. I don't have words for how I felt during that time; I left college early, I spent time trying to process the overwhelm, I was a complete ass to people who loved me. The next semester was a wash of pain and emptiness; I was lucky enough to have a poetry class that semester, and an art therapy class, and both drew me to express myself, but I don't think there are any words that can fully encompass suffering, nor any pictures, nor any poems, nor anything within my grasp. There were a few poems and songs that I clung to, though, and I'm sharing one of each below; they have remained a constant companion for my soul when suffering settles on my doorstep and waits for me to answer.

About to Drown in My Own Tears


If but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh: "Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,
That thy love's loss is my hate's profiting!"

Then would I bear, and clench myself, and die,
Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited;
Half-eased, too, that a Powerfuller than I
Had willed and meted me the tears I shed.

But not so. How arrives it joy lies slain,
And why unblooms the best hope ever sown?
--Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain,
And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan....
These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown
Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.

Thomas Hardy

Stepping Out of Frame

( More pictures here. )


  1. Thank you for your bravery, Deoridhe. And the beautiful poem which I was not yet aware of.

  2. Thomas Hardy has become a love of mine; I recommend his books as well, though they are as optimistic and fluffy-light as that poem, so be warned.

  3. So heartbreaking. Thank you so much for sharing. <3

  4. Beautiful entry, I both admire and envy your empathy.