47 Random Fragments of Unauthorised Hope and Despair


NOT SO long ago, I developed a neat little trick to pull myself out of the spiritual voids that would sometimes suck me in for no particular reason and in which my everyday life seemed unbearably restricted and shallow.

Imagine, I would tell my despairing self, that you were incarcerated in some jail cell. What would you miss? What would you yearn for? What would you dream of doing on the first days of your eventual joyful release?

The answer was obvious. I would wish for everything that now seemed so plainly worthless - a coffee in the town centre, a walk to the pub, an evening at home with my partner and children.

The depression was proved absurd and invited to shrivel and self-destruct under the harsh light of reason.

But later still this self-healing device itself became the object of my deepest suspicion.

What sort of life was this that could only appear truly attractive by comparison to the most dreadful of imagined predicaments?

Was this the full extent of the freedom which I had always cherished as my birthright - the freedom to not be in prison?