Tilting at Windmills


I feel a tight, compacted wad of fear.

It seems that to enable myself I need resources that cost.  Probably about R800 in all.  I have food money, but I just can’t spend it, I can’t take the fear.  Already I know I have to somehow generate money for rent and food next month, and I have no prospects in sight.

I know that the operative words are “in sight”.  I’ve been here before, and that I’ve accessed solution.  I know I’ve been able to find work, or sell something. Now I’m almost at the end of things to sell. I still have a Welsh dresser advertised for sale.  Maybe somebody will buy that, but I can’t force anybody.

I’ve made a list of the things I can do which don’t cost money.  Printing flyers advertising myself as an author, ghost-writer, editor, and distributing them on foot was an option.  I distributed some yesterday, and felt at least that I was able to do something.  But then my cartridge dried up.

Perhaps I just have to take the risk and spend some food money on the cartridge.

I have so many ideas, I just can’t get beyond first base – who am I kidding?  Can’t get to first base.  Small amounts of money are utterly out of my grasp.   No, I have to change that sentence.  They seem utterly out of my grasp.  It cannot be true, in reality.  It just can’t.

There must be a way.   There must be.  My panic subsides for a moment, as I type, but as soon as I stop it floods in again.  I want to curl up into a foetus and die.  Just stop living, so this fear goes away.  But what kind of solution is that?

I tell myself that it’s just fear, that there is solution, and I’m capable and deserving of finding it.  I tell myself that I can draw work to me, as I did before I went bankrupt, that I can easily do the work, that I always do quality work, and that I can get paid for it.

I promise myself that I’m not sliding out of control into helpless poverty.  It’s just fear.  It doesn’t mean the world has changed, doesn’t mean the world is suddenly an inhospitable place.   Doesn’t mean that I’ve been forgotten by God or the Universe, or the people who care about me.

It means I’ve forgotten.   The threat of poverty, utter deprivation – and total helplessness, powerlessness – presents to me now as a real physical possibility.  But it isn’t real.  I have food for today, I have food money for a month.

I can’t accept that there isn’t a yes for me somewhere.  What did Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote say?  I don’t know what the exact words are, but it’s something like “to achieve the impossible you have to attempt the absurd”.

Sometimes believing there’s a solution for you seems absurd.  So I have to just tilt at that windmill.  I haven’t been forgotten.  I haven’t forgotten myself.  But I did forget my belief.  For a bit.  I remember now.  My soul longs to thrive, so there must be a way.

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