.Look Within—Finding Meaning in Darker Moments

Hello, loves! It’s been far too long—how does this find everyone? 

I’ve been away from “Look” for myriad reasons. Before I return to my usual programming, which has evolved from fashion to highlighting the unique and inspiring human beings of Marin and Sonoma counties, I want to dedicate this week’s column to a topic very meaningful to me: how we are doing.

I, for one, am not really okay. Since late 2019, things haven’t felt okay, right up to this moment. I’m sitting on my balcony, riddled with another bout of Covid, despite my two vaccines and a booster, listening to a festival in downtown Oakland and feeling like an alien on planet Earth. The steady drip of bad news—inflation, the tsunami of technology and the disintegration of our government—are enough to leave anyone (me) feeling like the American dream we were promised probably never existed, or, if it did, is dying an ugly death on the table. 

Mental health is tenuous, connections are difficult. Loneliness tints eyes locked to a social media feed a shade of washed blue. Things like meeting a stranger at a coffee shop—things I used to take for granted—are out of sight in my rear-view mirror. 

I don’t know if things will ever return to the way they were. I’m only 30, and lately it’s seeming like the more years I accrue, the emptier my head gets. It’s hard to predicate anything with the youthful self-assurance all my years of philosophy and poetry gave me during college. Life feels much bigger, much more unruly, though it was all the philosophers and poets were writing about.

There are days when things feel a bit too much. There are days when I feel myself wrung out like a sponge, searching for a drop of humanity left. 

For anyone, anyone at all, who is feeling this way, I offer this Frederick Nietzsche quote, which gives me solace and even a sense of meaning during the darker days: 

To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities—I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not—that one endures.

Next week, space willing, we will return to our usual programming. For this week, for those struggling with the weight of the world, may we endure. 

Love always and to the best of my abilities, 

Jane

Jane Vick is an artist and writer based in Oakland. She splits her time between Europe, New York and New Mexico. View her work and contact her at janevick.com.
Jane Vickhttp://janevick.com
Jane Vick is a journalist, artist and writer who has spent time in Europe, New York and New Mexico. She is currently based in Sonoma County. View her work at janevick.com.

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