Of Soliloquys and Despondence: an activist’s introspections

Of Soliloquys and Despondence: an activis’ts introspections

I awake despondent and that’s rare, at least I think so.

I awake to the sound of a voice not my own but seemingly speaking from deep within me, asking where I am and why, and wondering what’s left.  I recognize the voice: it’s from a tune I once knew, asking me “where do I go from here”?

I’ve been weary lately, … it’s true, … and the feeling is weighty, entropic, drawing me somewhere I’d rather not be.  Perhaps too many friends have gone on; too much of the caring I’ve invested seemingly lost although I admit that most was invested a long time ago, much closer to dawn than to fall.  “Where do I go from here” the voice within me repeats in cascading echoes: an interesting question, and I wonder at its direction and its meaning and its scope, and I wonder if I’ve suddenly realized that perhaps I’m very much alone despite all those that remain around me.  It would be ironic if that were the cause of my despondence when of late that’s what I’ve sought, closing my heart to anyone new.

So much is happening everywhere around me, the complexity overwhelming and my ability to effect change seemingly decreasing although the need to succeed seems so much greater.  I feel so far from the center I need but that center is distant in time, not just space, and that’s so much harder to reach.  Still, that ought to generate frustration, nothing more, and the despondence I feel may be more personal, perhaps merely disguised in layers of outer concerns.  Not all of my dreams were always academic, or philanthropic, or politically activist.  From fairly deep within I remember a time where what I urgently sought was personal and intimate: “the perfect love”, and that memory, although dressed in layers of cobwebs and dust has a fairly strong voice.  But, … it seems as though that aspiration is not only faded but that for a wearily long time it’s seemed superficial to me, .…

Has it really been all that long?  Wasn’t it just yesterday?  The distance is there but perhaps it’s not comprised of time and space, perhaps that distance is based on a dawning perception of unattainability and my despondence is just a realization that I’ve misplaced my goal, that I’ve been running a marathon in the wrong direction.

A poetic phrase drifts by asking me: “Where do I find the flame I once had, the flame that once burned so bright?  Is there something left I can use to regain, even a trace of that light?”  And I think of all that energy,…  perhaps wasted, … perhaps lost, … but “lost” is very different than “misplaced”?  Misplaced may be dressed in rags but the cloth is made of hope.

So, … the tune in my head asks again: “Where do I go from here”?  Where do I go at the end of the day?  I’m where for so long I’ve always wanted to be, but where do I go from here?  I seem to wake from a rapidly fading dream, one of those intense inner phrases that bursts and vanishes the harder one tries to retain it, but in my inner distance I still hear the phrase from that song I almost remember: “Where do I go from here?”  But that wasn’t quite the phrase in the song I recall; the words have seemingly morphed and I’m in a video of sorts, not the star but a very interested spectator.  And then, I seem to sense something important, suddenly realizing what it might be, .… The question in the song was not a soliloquy.

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© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2013; all rights reserved

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