Sunday

Depression and sorrow have turned me into a cat.  I have a constant craving for soft, warm places to lie down where no one will bother me until it’s time for my next feeding.  I stare dazedly out the patio doors watching, waiting for something interesting to wander past.

Speaking of which…the other day my partner wandered past me wearing a shirt printed with the words WE ARE WHAT WE REPEATEDLY DO, and I thought with great dismay, “Oh my god!  I’m nothing!  I’ve been reduced to nothing!”

 A deeply imbedded survival instinct urges me – absolutely INSISTS! – that I Never Stop Trying.  This instinct is there for a reason.  Bred in the bone.  A gift, no doubt.  I trust it.  But depression is not a ‘normal’, healthy instinct.  It’s an abberation, and error in my programming.  It creates special rules for survival, like Don’t Fight.  Resistance to depression deepens it, like struggling in quicksand: it will just make you sink faster.

 Activity can pull me up out of a depressoin, but only at the right time.  This round of depression is taller, wider, deeper and longer than any I’ve experienced in many years.  It was made monolithic by several months of nerve-shattering tension and then by great loss and acute grief. 

 I at least have imaginings of making art.  This is a significant Something.  But lying down and imagineering things doesn’t LOOK like activity, and so this doing nothing (seemingly) isn’t earning me the praise and respect (though not quite scorn, either) of the people around me.  Even those that love me dearly are looking askance. 

 They will just have to keep looking.  Desire will not come at my bidding.  Enthusiasm is too quick and elusive for me still. 

Steph

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an attempt

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 At the risk of embarrassing the crap out of myself I will here and now reveal the first baby steps in the exploration of a new medium: fabric.  Please keep in mind that I have never before touched a needle and thread.  Honest to god…I donated any clothing that had lost a significant button. 

 It’s fabric, twine, sisal, and copper and gold paint.  Too bad the paint doesn’t show well in the picture.  I’m still working on getting my pictures the right size to show enough detail. 

steph

bittersweet

It is time for you to understand and admit that you do not need to eat chocolate just because it’s Christmas.

Excuse me for talking to myself out loud there for a moment but the situation was getting completely out of hand.  There are three of us co-habitating for the holidays and the other two crazy people keep leaving their hordes of chocolate lying about…alone, lonely, unguarded…vulnerable to attack.  *smile*

 It’s a relief  to be able to joke again without having to choke it out.  The funny fate of the chocolate is bittersweet, though.  So much sweetness has gone out of my life with the deat of my Seanna that I find myself indulging – overindulging, really – in the rich and sweet ingestible delights in an unconscious effort to reclaim the delight that died with my beloved.

 What a year.  I’m not ready for another one yet.  (Too bad, so sad, sorry for your luck, Chuck!)  Seanna loved to say that.  She couldn’t speak in complete sentences unless they rhymed or she sang them.  Yes, she was interesting.  And yes, life is infinitely dull without her.  Regardless, I know it’s time to get busy living or get busy dying. 

 On January 19th it will be one year since I bought my new home in Hamilton, and it’s still a half-finished renovation disaster area.  It’s going to stay that way for a long while, too, because my renovator’s truck was stolen a few days before Christmas.  So here I am.  I can write endlessly about what was, and muse happily about what will be, but there is no “is”.  At least there doesn’t feel as though there is an “is”.  I’m just sort of…here.  I can find plenty of things to do, but they would just be busy-making activities.  My present is purposeless.  No one waits.  No one needs.

 Oh wow.  I keep forgetting to add myself to the category of “people in my life”.  I wait.  I need.  For?  I wait for the energy of enthusiasm to reappear.  I have a need for a spiritual fire to relight itself and lead me somewhere, anywhere.  I have sat at this computer day and night for weeks now, reading everyone else’s comments and communications, but only rarely have I been able to move myself to make a noise or a contribution.  All that is in me now seems so unnecessary to the world around me that I am not inspired to remark or recount.

This is just perception of course.  A misperception, surely.  Nonetheless, while others celebrate the miracle of the birth of the baby Jesus, I’ve been tampering with a miracle of my own: struggling to give birth to myself.  Wish me luck.

Steph

Art Is Not Tame – Henry David Thoreau

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“Art is not tame, and Nature is not wild, in the ordinary sense. A perfect work of man’s art would also be wild or natural in a good sense.”

Henry David Thoreau

Attribution: Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 337, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
(Image: magenta bougainvillea summer –  copyright Imogen Crest 2007.)

I Turn My Head – Carolyn McDade

“I turn my head to sky rains falling,
wash the wounds of numbness from my soul.
Turn my heart in tides of fierce renewal,
where love and rage run whole.
Come drink deep.”

Carolyn McDade

Attribution: Carolyn McDade (20th century), folk–singer and hymn-writer. Worship Comes Alive. “Come Drink Deep,” l. 6-10 (1991).

courtesy e-notes quotes