Monday, December 19, 2005


Disappointment. It’s something I now experience regularly as I wait each month for signs of absence to learn if new life is occurring in me. In my adult years, until now, I had few disappointments. I experienced many as a kid.

There were a few disappointing Christmases, when presents were donated from the couple next door; months of daily disappointments during the worst days of my young adulthood, when I’d come home from school and see Mom already holding in hand a low ball of whiskey and a splash of water, the sign of a long night ahead; when Mom would let Keith back into our house after an especially violent episode between them, when she vowed he'd never be allowed to return; when I did poorly on my ACTs; when I remained in the second row of the flute section; when that check that would help ease our poverty did not come yet again.

Disappointment is very cruel. It generates feelings of sadness, melancholy, self-pity, and frustration. There is a feeling of helplessness, that there is nothing to be done to satisfy the desire, the longing for the object or the state that is to be denied once again.

Perhaps, that’s what’s so cruel about disappointment. The opposite of disappointment is hope. Hope brings promise, excitement, and possibility. Hope tricks the mind into pondering better days, visualizing that object and the subsequent joy it’s supposed to bring. Disappointment is the result of hope denied.


Anonymous said...

Hope is a thread between us in the present, and the 'hoped-for' in the future. This thread is a good thing, even if the 'hoped-for' is delayed, deferred, or denied.

Sometimes, even when confronted with hard evidence that the hoped-for is unlikely, we hold on to that thread. Is this rational? If not, is that bad?

Perhaps this thread, trailing off into the future, connects us not just to the hoped-for, but to other things as well. All of our threads, braids of braids, converge on the future. Converging, they must touch other threads. Maybe the tug I feel is another's hope growing. Maybe it's someone's hope fading. Maybe, the hoped-for is a way that we learn to feel the movements in the thread.

Rod Carveth said...

Sorry that disappointment reared its ugly head again.

Here's wishing that 2006 brings you the "hope" that you deserve.

charlie said...

But the Sunshine prevails. That is the hope that triumphs these feelings. Not yesterday but today, now....and in the morning it's so far away.....perhaps remember people who struggled...and in that desperate fight...they remembered us...perhaps their memory might reflect that in time....

Anna said...

I wish the sadness I feel when reading of your disappointment would mean that you were feeling a bit less of it. It seems such a random thing, yet so terribly personal.

I used to say that I had "killer hope" because despite experiencing fairly regular disappointment (albeit in the romantic realm), I couldn't stop hoping. It was such an agonizing cycle. So I imagine that I can relate in a very tiny way.

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