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. 



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I am an artist and curator at large in Hamilton, Ontario. Moreover, I am also a serious patron of the arts. It is not enough to work on my own art, though that is a vast and satisfying part of my life, I also deeply enjoy the company of other artists at all stages of their careers. Emerging artists, mid-career, and established artists all have their particular energies and visions to share that are fascinating to me. The art and literary worlds are my sources of entertainment. I spend my time and energy exploring and celebrating both.

6 thoughts on “Sunday”

  1. My heart goes out to you. If I were with you, I’d make you hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows. Yes, food is not to be substituted for comfort. But it tastes wonderful and is warm and soothing.

  2. Hello Steph,
    I don’t think you are the only one to feel this way.Beginnings and endings of years are awful, absolutely everyone seems to have done it bigger and better etc.
    I choose to hope these things will not last long and the year will improve inspite
    of those things we prefer to forget. I expect my writing to be eratic this month as I am on a hospital waiting list for a common womom’s health complaint so I don’t suppose I will be doing much for a while.That does not mean I have forgotton or that I do not wish too.
    Happy New Year anyway to all my soul food friends. Keep posting.
    Best Wishes
    Susan Preston

  3. Steph, it is a rough road that you are traveling. If turning into a cat for a while is what you need to do, then go there and take from it what comfort you can. I wish you comfort and a goodly measure of peace.

  4. Your loss and resulting entries have moved me to tears, I don’t have anything extraordinary to say. I would like to give you a hug, though.
    You are fully entitled to being a cat – what else can sleep for twenty hours out of twenty-four and still jump four feet in the air? You’re just still in hour seven…

  5. This is a wonderful place and this post is one of the first I read.

    Steph, I am “moved to tears” also (as Alex, above, mentioned). Your post is so deep and clear. I love that you see yourself as a cat – a beautiful image! And my hope for you is that you allow yourself to BE that cat – just that cat, because she is enough.

    I’d like to add to what Heather said about “your cat phase” (which made me grin) – that the creative fire is doing work you cannot even imagine now. It has always amazed me, after grieving or sitting with someone grieving, how much is done internally when we feel sooo empty, so nonproductive.

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