I’ve been dipping back into depression and in there I find that I most deeply miss writing, miss the creative conversation I have with myself, the one that reminds me – without waiting for anyone else to say something – that I’ve checked out a bit, and gently supports my arm whilst I get a grip.
It’s been too many years since I practiced – I could still blame this on people and jobs and the rigged world, which asks other priorities of me. That’s a dug in lie, that’s a shallow well, that’s a shunning – there are reasons, yes and the world and the jobs and the people of interest are a part of it. But abdication of responsibility for taking care of this part of self – is slacking. plain, simple, serious infarction.
I’ve done so little today / but taken great joy in it:
2 naps, curled with the cat’s chin in the cup of my palm/dozing openended
plumed the crocosmia plant into a pompadour / raked one pile of leaves
halfassedly turned the compost / fed myself twice
felt sadness and for once didn’t investigate it.
Fires across the northern woods, all day the light here is tinged in pink.
The heat didn’t reach through the haze / such corrupt gratitude
to be glad of the respite even as the larger world is burning.
It’s been an angry Spring.
Actually, if I trace it back, this relationship with anger has always been contentious – harmony and grace are much easier friendships to cultivate, more alluring and seemingly worth the attention.
But sometimes anger finds me, and camps out on the front porch waiting to play, again, like when we were kids and a full raging yahoo was not yet unseemly or inappropriate. Put a cape on that kid and the anger swirls worthy of a superhero’s crusade – it rises, expresses and defends, then morphs into giggles. Simple as that.
These days, anger emails, or texts, in polite missives, it presents persistent sublimation opportunities, using professional language. It never gets to the giggling. Anger is the friend I still want to ditch – I don’t know how to be seen in public with this bright fierceness, blaring embarrassing tendencies, acting out. I judge, and I shut it down.
I’ve developed this whole control thing – which is all well and good for the rest of you, but it means that I’m often fighting with myself, fighting myself, fighting this friend which everybody can see in me anyways, holding it down just beneath the surface as if to drown the fire in a puddle. It feels like no fun.
A friend posted a poem/musing by David Whyte today, saying she’d like to hear it read to her around a campfire, and nominated me to do it. There is a burn ban on since the West is currently going up in smoke, so I spoke the words into a field mic to save them for later.
I needed to read it out loud – I needed to get beyond the “stamping out the brush fire” zone and into the illumination which comes of loving the world and its people, and feeling raw enough grow into that love: All of it – not just the part that is under control.