The necessity of catastrophe

Published November 22, 2002 9:10PM (EST)

"Inspired by the absolute hopelessness of everything, I felt relieved, as if a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders."
-- Henry Miller

When you look back on a failed relationship, you often wonder how it could have gone on for so long. For months you knew it wasn't working. Why didn't you get out before it became an irrevocable disaster? The answer is simple: Because it needed to end in catastrophe. You needed to poison the well and bludgeon your heart beyond repair. You needed to exhaust all your reserves. Anything less, and you'd still be holding out hope. You can always muddle along from minor disaster to minor disaster, but it takes truly heroic stamina to see things through to total catastrophe.

It's a catastrophe, but it's the one I need.

Reprinted with permission from "Daily Afflictions" by Andrew Boyd, published by W.W. Norton. To order a copy, click here

By Brother Void

Brother Void is the alter ego of Andrew Boyd. More information about Brother Void and his book, "Daily Afflictions," can be found at his Web site.

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