Expect the worst ... and be happy!

In an era of diminished expectations, those of us who've never had much hope to begin with are starting to feel lucky.

By Ranted by Cary Tennis
Published August 26, 2002 10:29PM (EDT)

Cary Tennis considers life's most pressing questions in audio form most every week on Salon. But it's been a few weeks now since he stepped into that curtained booth in the San Francisco office, turned down the lights, put on the headphones and communed with his twisted brethren. He just couldn't think of anything to say. But then a reader wrote in and chided him, saying it had been a month now.

So he went into the curtained booth, turned off the lights and put on the headphones. And lo and behold a childhood memory about a circus show on television came hurtling back to him, and he was stung by an ancient wound that came of facing his limits, or not facing them and having them pointed out to him, or having life itself demonstrate them in its own emphatic, incontrovertible way.

It was a sobering memory that came with a bittersweet celebration, because what he wanted when he was young is now finally, slowly, coming to pass. All he had to do was not kill himself.

These days, in the aftermath of the vanishing of great, glittering, chimerical hopes, he hears from young people to whom the failure to acquire Internet millions feels like a personal affront. Perhaps they did not undergo the incremental robbing of dreams that comes naturally with adulthood in less exuberant times. So he was moved to say as he has time and again that all you have to do is find a way to keep going, and the way to keep going is to find pleasure in simplicity, find value in what you have, consider the magesty of simply being alive.

Or something like that. He can't remember precisely what he said at all. Rest assured, it was something like that. Just listen. It's only three minutes and 56 seconds.

Ranted by Cary Tennis

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