Each day she climbs from bed complaining of tiredness and looks at the wreckage displayed before her in the mirror… Somehow she must move from this to that smart focused exterior she presents to the outside world in order to survive. Her manner is fragile and defiant at the same time. Preparing herself for work is a slow, exhausting process. Driving in her car or riding the train she looks at the others travelling to their desks. Is it the same for them? All of them saying as little as possible or nothing at all.
In another part of town her boss is doing the same: focusing on what lies ahead, ignoring that dull ache behind the eyes and the noise of children soon to leave for school. His face looks grey but that’s the way it is. He has anxieties he cannot display. A merger is discussed: that much he knows. Will his job remain if it goes through? Whatever happens he must get through the day.
Both at work they greet each other and smile. “Busy day for us” is all he says. “Dont I know it” she replies. “So much to do”. Feeling essential helps them both get them through.
Perhaps it’s the same for us all. That case of having to being better than we are. Not fooling ourselves but what else is there to do. Hearing of lives which cast us into shame. “Everything is spotless you know”. She does two jobs and still prepares a meal for her husband and three children every day. He is a skilled concert pianist, climbed Everest three times before he was thirty and cannot do enough for his poor wife who is sadly housebound with a perfume overdose.
Those questions we pose ourselves flit across my mind. “If we had five minutes left to live where would our mind go when only essences survive?” Harsh on ourselves, unless avoiding blame, we sometimes spend our tolerance on others berating ourselves for being weak again.
Somewhere inside, besieged by doubt and fear, a person lives who dares to dream and doesn’t count the cost. Who finds out as he struggles against his chains. That freedom starts with imagination, and without faith we’re lost.