When bleakness sets in

When bleakness sets in

Photo by Cristi Goia on Unsplash

By: Stella Orange

This is the beginning of midwinter, when the cold comes to your windows, crowbar in hand, trying to break in. 

I mean, unless you’re someplace like Portugal, Australia, or Texas. Some people are, you know.

And in THIS particular year, careful observers note that the chill that’s moved in across the land is not just meteorologic. 

“I’m not sure I’m going to make it,” someone said to me recently. 

It was a tender admission, quietly uttered.

I recognize the sentiment, actually. It’s something we have all been soaking in, whether we have been feeling this way personally, or not. It’s in the air these days. 

For me, I had to sit for a moment and ask myself, “Is this true? Do I actually believe I’m not going to make it?” 

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I find myself checking in like that, it is some holy, solemn stuff. Fuel for the ole journal fire, you know?

And to my delight, instead of pushing away the question, I have invited this inquiry to sit by my fire and tell me its secrets. 

You see, like the dung patties I once saw drying on the banks of the Ganges, I believe that your doubts and worries can be burned for power and light.

And as fuel, they are what move the belts and turn the gears of your hope machine. 

Hope machines are dung-powered, you know. 

P.S. I believe you’re going to make it. But if you don’t, may you at least have made an interesting and flamboyant attempt.

Stella is cofounder and copywriter at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. As our resident word nerd, she writes copy and points out the stories everyone is living and telling through their work. She is also fun at parties.

Get letters like this one, plus updates, insights, and invitations, delivered right to your inbox every week. Here’s the sign-up.

Want to read more?