Cheerful exclamations of “Happy New Year” abound this week. These lovely blessings are bestowed so generously during this wonderful Solstice holiday season. It is also obvious, that simply quipping this phrase isn’t going to manifest more happiness in my life or change dubious habits of mine that could use some shifting.

My mentor, Francis Rico, claims that to move forward in life we need to feel both our joy and our pain. The questions then become, “Am I willing to embody and express more joy?” Can I be more inviting to my difficult emotions that I often work hard to keep at bay?

Loneliness is no stranger in my life. Yes, my partner died three years ago but truthfully, loneliness has been with me since infancy. So, why am I sharing this poem below on this festive day? Because loneliness and its consort, despair, are killers. Addiction and suicide, the diseases of despair, are on the rise and social isolation is the culprit according to NPR.

So, even on this day of celebration, I offer my poem below, as my New Year’s gift. My hope is that it may save a life in 2019.

Creaking, the dark, dank dungeon door opens

Despair creeps up the wobbly stairs

She longs for me.


Despair creeps in…

A quiet winter holiday morning

Distractions dried up.


Eating? Off the table.

Unsatisfying relationships? Screw that.

Escape routes cut off.


She scares me.

How do I relate to this problematic visitor?

Sunshine bright, I decide to welcome her.


Despair timidly inches closer…

Silence surrounds her,

Is it bigger than she?


I sit.

Wisdom whispers, “Hold her”,

Oh, little one, I am here.


3 thoughts on “Happier New Year through redeeming despair

  1. Always good to get your seasonal cheer!
    My my, how the years fly by.
    Seems like just yesterday we were living at the Hot Springs. Well, all that goofiness aside, there is still a large portion of tenderness in my heart for our friendship over the years, and for sure, we have not made as much effort at maintaining intimacy as might be possible, but that makes the bond all the more enduring as the years go past, and truly, you are never forgotten.
    Be blessed in this new year, whatever 19 may bring, may it be filled with happiness, and the realization, that today the is dream we dreamed long ago, but no dream exists without the friends who help us along the way.
    On ward! On ward! Into the great cosmic unknown.


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