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Consolations come and go, and so do desolations. They are like successive tides in the ocean.

Consolations build convictions and reaffirm them. They give us a glimpse of the goal and remind us that it is worthwhile. Then our faith – that the goal exists, and our hope – that we will get there eventually – are reaffirmed. Thus we continue walking through the desolate wastelands. And this is love: being present, being in the now, putting one foot in front of the next, doing our work – no matter how desolate things are – within and without.

I have often wondered why daily work is associated with so much negative feeling, so much desolation. I think it’s because it fixes me. It puts things right inside me. It aligns me towards the ultimate goal, the ultimate good. Not the penultimate, transitional, temporary goods that clamour for my attention. And cleaning up, aligning and ordering always requires an effort in the now. In the present moment. I have never seen anyone smiling as they clean up their computer desktop, bedroom or office filing cabinet. But there’s a great satisfaction and a sense of being released from the prison of chaos afterwards.