December 28, 2020

Desperation, A Tender Trap

The band U2’s song, So Cruel, is one of my favorites. A mood of melancholy and lyrics that strike to the heart of the human condition, tragic relationships, and unrequited love. A condition of frailty so apparent today.

One of my favorite lines:

“Desperation is a tender trap

It gets you every time”

So Cruel is about love between a man and a women. But love and passion can exist in other areas. Lately, I’ve seen examples of this in small business owners struggling to survive. Their passion turned to despair. Especially in California where the desperation of shutdowns are now requiring police officers and other officials to confront business owners who won’t comply because their livelihoods are at stake. It is truly heartbreaking.

What you don’t see is the desperate struggle of love and passion that leads to a successful business. The heartbreak of lessons learned from failure. Then some bureaucrat takes it all away while Wal-Mart and Amazon prosper. One example is the Pomp Salon in Stockton, California, it's attempted shut-down by armed officers captured on video.

From Thomas Merton’s book, A Vow of Conversation: Journals 1964-65:

"On the Wednesday I was in New York, it was a lovely morning and at noon I rode down in the taxi to the Guggenheim Museum through the park under the tunnels of light and foliage, with the driver talking about his problems, his nerves, his analysis and his divorce. The more I think about the museum, the more I recognize it as a light, beautiful, airy and intelligent place. And the Van Goghs, wheels of fire, cosmic, rich, full-bodied hones victories over desperation, permanent victory, especially the last light-and-shadow calligraphic impastos."

We overcome despair with cosmic fire!

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