despair - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
There was hope before. Just a tiny flicker agains the wind. With the open eyes of a child I reached out, fingers extended. In that moment you had a choice of kindness or cruelty; it took no time at all for you to decide. You saw that dying ember and brought the winds to a cold howl. How is your thinking so different from my own, so alien? How is it you see the suffering and choose to make it all the worse?
I sit in the pit that has become my world, the only decorations my own nail marks on the walls I cannot scale. Though I know there is light at the top it feels a million miles away and, were it not for him being down here with me, I wouldn't even try. Every time I reach out with love to someone up there, someone I hope can throw a rope, the floor sinks a little lower, jolting my body as it stops - crushing me with a new pain, another abandonment. Perhaps now is the time to realize it isn't me I'm supposed to get out, it's him. And so I let my eyes become accustomed to the darkness he has dwelled in these many years and see that intermingled with the marks of my own nails are his too, older though, the blood long dried. And then I know, he gave up because there was nothing else for him to do and that the best day of his life was when I fell in there with him, our tears running together. I'll get him out, if it's the last thing I ever do, I will. Because that's how I know I can love like I was born to, that I can put another first even when my winter is at its darkest. For I am never truly empty, when I spend my last "penny," I always get just one more. This is how I know who I am, and so even this despairing pain can be seen as a gift, a chance to know what I'm made of - to earn my own respect.
On the first bright day of summer the fisherman stood on the deck of his boat, wrinkled beyond his years and with a posture that sagged. He had twenty years of fishing ahead of him and his old tub had sailed her last voyage. His grandfather had told him to always put pennies by for this day, but God had blessed him with a fine family and with his precious babies came expenses, too many of them to spare some money for a savings account. Behind his scraggy beard his mouth had fallen to an almost scowl and his eyes that bore the same hue as the ocean conveyed none of it's warmth or sparkle. He patted the pockets of his jeans and then his shirt. On discovering his tobacco tin he retrieved it and rolled a cigarette between fingers made rough by pulling in nets. Only yesterday the ocean had been his sanctuary, now it was as remote as a far off land. The cry of the gulls cut at him, layering invisible wounds over his skin, and soon his briny tears welled in the cracks of his lips.
There was nothing left to pawn. She gazed around room with it's brown walls, dappled with mildew, bereft of furniture. Only a picture of her late husband remained in her possession, it's gilded frame had been swapped for some morsel of food long ago. With the eyes that could cry no more, she gazed out at the street where people hustled to make their living and she knew her light had gone out. She looked down at the old photograph and longed to join him. What was the point in continuing to draw breath?
The earthquake had taken everything from her. Her family had been dug out of the rubble, lifeless and grey. Their bodies were lined up in size order like grotesque Russian dolls. She could smell them rotting in the sun and the taste of vomit was never far from her parched mouth. She gazed around the wreckage with eyes barely more alive than her baby sister's and could feel no life within herself. How could she still be breathing when she felt like this?
As his eyes skimmed his exam grades his heart sank into his shoes. He'd tried his best, he'd studied hard, and he still failed all the important subjects. College was closed to him unless he retook a bunch of stuff, but what would be different next time? He'd always held out hope of going to university one day, but now the despair was like concrete in his veins. He hung his head and looked at his shoes.
She had come this far only to find the bridge that traversed the canyon was severed and hanging loose like so much rope and sticks in the wind. She sank to her knees, taking in a sight that her brain refused to comprehend. She was down to a days worth of provisions and it was nine day trek back to civilization the way she'd come. The blisters on her bare feet had ruptured and despite the wide-brimmed hat she wore the sun beat down without mercy on her head. She sat motionless, unaware of the time that passed, just starring into the abyss. No thoughts came to her except that her fate was sealed.
Her eyes have frozen over like the surface of a winter puddle, robbing them of their usual warmth. She's in there, I know it, but it's like she just took a huge step back from life. I want to reach in and tell her it isn't hopeless, but she won't believe me. I want to rekindle her heat but her insides are too damp with uncried tears. I always knew she had pain inside, but now its visible on her face and I wish it would go away. I know that's a selfish want, people have a right to their pain, they don't ask for it - it just arrives like the gift you never wanted.
In the darkness the whole world could have blown away in a freak storm. I can smell the earth as if it's wiped clean, as if all the plant life is gone. My feet are bare, that's the only reason I know the ground is still there. Everything else has dissolved like it was never there at all, like the universe hasn't even begun, or perhaps it never was. In the darkness I can't get a sense that anything is important at all – life, death, pain. I want the dawn to come and kiss the land and remind this fickle heart that I'm not the only one here - that there is a whole planet of other sentient beings who live and love. But for now all I have is this starless sky, even the moon won't shine tonight. Perhaps she lies frightened, shivering, behind the unseen cloud.
The future is an unwalkable road. Even if we tried it would be a journey into a land devoid of hope. It is one thing to look back and realize you were in darkness, it is quite another to look ahead and realise your days in the sun are numbered. Our society is falling apart, for so long have we cherished greed, "might is right" and rewarded those best at manipulation that we can't see a way out of the mess. Raping mother earth to make a buck has been applauded for so long that even if we change now it is a desolate environment. There is no ecosystem unchanged, not even the arctic. The über rich will last longer in their air conditioned palaces, for the rest of us living means fighting the end as the ground beneath our feet crumbles, sending us spinning into a dystopian nightmare none of us can wake from. Despair used to be an emotion for the elderly and frail, now it as ubiquitous as the polluted air and rivers.
This despair is a heady blackness; the ways forward I had though possible have vanished to black, not blocked, but like they were never there at all. The notion of hope has become meaningless, if my mind should linger on such ideas they start to feel like cruel tricks, as cruel as any desert mirage. The bonds I have, the ones that keep my heart beating, feel so thin and even they are a terrible weight. To love is to care for their futures and for them to care for mine - yet what is to come will bring no comfort to any, least of all for us "disposable people" on the cheap side of town.