For many, this has been a tough year. Or a rough couple of years. Whether it is due to financial loss, personal loss or a loss of one’s sense of self, that’s a lot of combined loss, don’t you think? A friend of my daughter’s who is my age and lives in Paris mentioned that she too has had “une annee assez rude” or as Queen Elizabeth once said, “annus horribilis.” I always smile at that old saying, “misery loves company,” but ruefully, I think it’s true. Sometimes we think we are the only ones going through it and that everyone else’s life is going okay, it’s just ours that feels like it is sinking in the mire.
Which brings me to a comment that I saw in passing yesterday on television. I know that some of you will roll your eyes when I say this, but often, and it turns out to be true, a phrase or a comment in a movie zings out at me as being a “message” that I should pay attention to. Anyhow, if you’re still reading, I was surfing the stations and came upon the tail end of the movie, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” in which Gordon Gekko, still terrifically played by Mr. Dimple on His Chin, Michael Douglas, returns with more force than ever, alienating his daughter (played by Carey Mulligan with dimples everywhere). Shia La Bouef (what is it about his name?) plays her lover who also alienates her because he’s a you-know-what’s behind. Anyhow, I am watching that last scene on a shadow-lined street when Carey and Shia bemoan the fact that they don’t know how to overcome the past even though she is pregnant with his child, and Michael Douglas steps into the light and says, “What’s the matter with you two? Haven’t you ever heard of comebacks?” I have to confess that I laughed out loud.
Sometimes when we are dipping around in gloom and feeling sorry for ourselves (the worst way to spend time,) we don’t always or even often, think of the concept of “comebacks,” a la Bill Clinton, or an even bigger one: HILLARY CLINTON for that matter. Isn’t it great to see her doing her job as Secretary of State when you think back to the time before she decided to run for the Senate from New York? Linear thinking makes things feel like they are spiralling down, down down into a bottomless pit; and that there is no subsequent up, never mind, an up, up and away. Not now, when people are harping at everything, including Olympic uniforms being made in China. Why doesn’t the American team just wear T-Shirts made in the USA? What’s the big deal with finding a practical solution to this tempest?
So, back to the idea of comebacks being a possibility. I have to admit that I was cheered up by that line in the movie. It says that there may be a smidgen of hope or light that things will get better, little by little. Or that bitter disillusionment in someone you held with high regard for a long time will fade over time. The loss of respect and trust in people who meant a lot to you is probably the hardest thing to overcome. So, coming back from that will probably take not just minutes or days, but weeks, months and maybe longer. After all, we’re still here in the center of ourselves. So let’s protect that sanctity and believe (hope) that something stronger will come along one day. And that we will come back.