This picture of Roona Begum and her mother says everything I could ever say about everything. I have not been able to stop thinking about it.
Primarily, I see love. I see the absence of god.
I discussed the picture with my psychiatrist, who wants to help me find a space where my life feels worthy or livable. We talked about how I identify with both the mother and the child.
I noted that among the array of emotions stirred by this image, I managed to feel resentment: Why did this family have to start a kickstarter fund to raise $65,000 for Roona’s surgery?! $65,000 is such a negligible amount for someone like Sting, for example.
WHY DIDN’T STING PAY FOR THE SURGERY, I ranted.
We talked about some other stuff, about the best use of resources for reducing poverty and hunger in places like India.
In exasperation, he concluded, “Fuck Sting! You can do something, too. You want to help people and you can. There are people right now who could use your help!”
He knows that helping others is the only salvation for me. I said, “So you mean, you want me to find my Inner Sting?”
We both laughed.
I tried to deflect the obligation of finding my Inner Sting with a quote that I couldn’t quite remember, saying “Well, what about if I only stand and wait, like Churchill said.”
Naturally, he was mystified, because I just looked it up and the quote is by John Milton: “They also serve who only stand and wait.”
But Milton wasn’t talking about me. I have stood and waited my whole life, it seems like. I must struggle to find my Inner Sting, even though I can hardly stay awake or stay asleep, and getting off the couch feels like a huge undertaking.