Thursday morning 8 a.m. February wet and icy but warmer than it should be, gray squirrels climbing the hawthorn tree outside my window and the birds cheeping and chirping while my cat watches attentively. No Mass this morning they’re having some sort of communion service or something I’m not sure and less sure of what I want to do. More than a little depressed and worried and anxious. Today this morning I’m haunted by remorse of the recent, guilt over the time I’ve spent sober but not particularly productively the time I’ve spent in denial of my true nature, beyond the denial of alcoholism, beyond the denial of what I am on to the denial of who I am. I know now that I am a child and I know that I am to write, but I carry so much guilt and dark matter, so much sorrow for what I have done, yes, and today especially for what I have failed to do. Crimes of omission. I am sure there is no way to amend this situation but to do what I am doing now, to write, no way out other than straight ahead, dead ahead, full steam ahead, but the guilt clings to me like a piece of wet newspaper stuck to my shoe, and the anticipation of the future, the fear of what my omission has or will cause in the future, damn near paralyzes me. Eight years on Social Security, and only now do I realize how precious the time has been, only now do I realize that I might well have wasted so much of it. Spent so much time and effort trying to prove something, I don’t know what, trying to prove I deserved to work myself to death in hard physical labor rather than take this gift from God and honor the act of creation with it. And now, now, of course, now I fear and fear that I’ve shamed myself once more, once more the gift will be taken away, broken, savaged, destroyed – that is after all what I deserve – and now brought to the mountaintop, brought to the understanding of what my intended destiny is or was, it will be denied, it will be withheld, it will remain out of reach as I toil and scrape at meaningless tasks designed to humiliate and subjugate me, designed to break my spirit and blacken my soul, rot my being with endless concerns over money and material and fear of hunger and abandonment and the rags of nothingness, the blight of mediocrity.
I pray and pray and pray. I await a medical exam from Social Security that I am convinced will unhinge every positive aspect of my life. I fear and half expect a prison term. Kafka comes to mind often.
I pray and pray and there are moments, days, of spiritual succor, belief that no matter what, somehow, some way, it will be all right. His will is not to damn but to ennoble, to uplift, to love.
And then I fear that I just have not prayed enough, that there is not enough for me, that, well, I guess I do not so much fear that there is no God, but rather I fear that there is a God. What a terrible thing to feel, to admit, to endure, to await and wonder wild-eyed in the wilderness, in the desert of the self
Sometimes I find writing redemptive, though, sometimes I hope this will save me, that this small act of creation will honor the Lord enough to buy me more time, to allow me to make up for the past, to forestall the inevitable long enough to allow me to grow a little, unfold a little, perhaps even flourish a little, perhaps, perhaps even to prove myself worthy of love.