Tuesday, April 19, 2022


Remember cat's cradle? One pair of hands constructs the string cradle, then someone else gathers it from those original hands and reconstructs it, pulling it together at the end, hoping the cradle reforms, altered, perhaps even transformed; its new composition surprises. Isn't this essentially the relationship between writer and reader? I construct these words and yet you, the reader, reconstruct them based on your thoughts, experiences, and feelings.   

Writer Sarah Manguso said, "the purpose of being a serious writer is to keep people from despair." These words were new to me, and welcome wisdom. Cradles, indeed. 

Despair. It's in everything lately, especially ongoing news about Russia's war crimes in Ukraine. What words could I hope to construct to keep you (& me) from despair? I know a few that dispel despair: trees, sunrises, ice-cream, music, children. Words can seem fleeting though, can't they? Many are not so impermanent though. Which words do you return to when you need them? I think about tattoos featuring words including gratitude, dream, worrier warrior, continue, and so on. 

Anne Frank apparently said, "I have often been downcast, but never in despair." I thought about Anne Frank a lot in 2020 as the pandemic raged on and on; she isolated for 761 days. That's some perspective, isn't it? I continue to think about her legacy: her words continue to resonate, anything but temporary. Think of Anne, friends: be downcast if you need to, but do not despair. 


Debra She Who Seeks said...

"We have art in order not to die of the truth." ~~Nietzche

Anvilcloud said...

Wow! You found a very old post. It was good for me to check it out after 18 years. I thoguht I would pop in to say hello. You're right about everything being filtered through our own um filters. 😎

DB Stewart said...

@DSWS That's the truth.
@Anvilcloud Thanks.

Pixie said...

I don't know if writing does keep others from despair or just allows us to deal with our own despair. But despair is certainly alive and well around the world right now.

Words that I use to keep me from despair, thankful, love, hope and always humour.

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