Depression, Side of Belovedness

I pushed snooze twice today. I never push snooze.

Meditation did not go so well once I did drag myself out of the bed that seemed to have placed a magic suction spell over me and was actively pulling me deeper into it. As I began my days work I felt myself moving with uneasiness, operating from a mentally and physically tense being; all the moments seemed the same.

What is going on? I wondered, doing the internal scan I do to figure out where I am on the scale of health. What could be triggering me ? Did I eat something? Am I blocking out my emotions? Am I present to my own activity in the moment or am I distracted thinking about other people and other moments?

It was not until the early afternoon when I realized what it was assailing me: a wave of depression. It had been several days since a wave; I was feeling in the clear again. I was a young pilot garbed in a brown scarf with goggles on my forehead posing for ritzy photos before I took an amateur flight. Yes, I had flown before, but last night when I laid my head down there seemed to be no sign of enemy aircraft. I was grateful, I was cocky. Then I woke up.

Every moment the same. Surrounded by artillery at every corner of the mind. There was no clear anymore–the conflict had broken out inside of me. There was physical pain in my head and my limbs, there were emotional knee jerk reactions in my spirit and dull nothingness in my heart, there were birds falling from the sky around me.

There I was: the yoke of the plane to my right, ready for any manipulation of my altitude that I may find appropriate, and the wheel in my hands. I wondered why I had so young been given control of myself, my sacred aircraft. Those wonderings were useless so I set to work re-vamping the body scan, eliminating anything weighing me down (the wonderings had to go). I threw overboard my self-victimization. I threw out my denial of the situation. I threw out woe is me and all the ways I was tempted to waste the day in hopes that it would improve itself (when truly I–not the day–bled for improvement).  Over the blue sky I clutched the deep, unnatural urge to throw up my hands and throw myself down on the couch glued to a screen until the day passed (hopefully the pain with it); abandonment for a short time, to pretend the problems–enemy fighters, thunderous clouds, utter meaninglessness–were not there.

And Wendell Berry spoke to me:

…Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.*

The bulky urge to surrender slipped from my grip as I hesitantly loosened my hold.

In letting it go, crashing down through the atmosphere in order to empower my upward mobility, I began the climb back up. The wave of darkness did not overcome me.

This morning I may have been smiling too brightly. Oh well, I am wiser now, as I lay my head down on the cool pillow, than I was last night when I did the same.

Still alive, still beloved.

Always, life.

Life, always.

 

*https://onbeing.org/blog/how-to-be-a-poet-to-remind-myself-wendell-berry/

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I Was Big, Because I was Scared

When they finally call. When after various nerve-wracking interviews that left me twisted up inside with things I said, did not say, and wish I had said, I did get a call back. I am wanted here, to work. My services are invited here.

That is when I wish I had not been so glum. Why did I worry? Why did I let those ancient demons reside (even temporarily) in the temple of my mind and soul?

Each of the interviews and every page of applications has taught me, they have been professors who do their job thoroughly but refuse to allude to grade averages or end results before the time of their posting.

Hindsight is 20 20. The moments in-between are made for rest, rejuvenation, for reading lots of books. But without trust, they can be existential torture.

I was always wanted. I was always provided for. It never depended on me. I just got scared in the waiting.

Now, as doors open, as poems are received for publishing, and tax documents are filed, and I pack my things up to go to a world where I feel secure, I must take my wild heart in my hands. In the moments of waiting my heart turned itself into an inflated puffer-fish. Out of shape. Too big. Too sharp. I did it for survival; the moment scared me into defending my true little self with a bigger, more intimidating one.

It is okay to go back to what you know. It is okay to humbly start over. It is okay to want to do easy things.

It is not okay to be big when you are no longer scared. Bigness is for scary times, but when things settle down, and the sailing is smoother, it is time to take that bigness into careful hands and smooth it down. It is the moment for immediately turning around and helping those who are big, get to a place they can be small again.

It is a time to remember my privilege, that helps open doors for me, especially in the place where things are familiar.  It is a time to give thanks for friends who cushion the changes, financially and emotionally. It is a time to put hands up and praise and cover my self with the ashy truth–I am dust, I am given a moment here, I better put all that I receive to damn good use.

When it finally happens, I bow, and shift my desires from this world, to the next.

Amen.

 

L. Nomad

The Grey Room

I used to fear writing “publicly” about my mystical practices and experiences. I shrouded them in vaguery when I did make any reference. I guess I just do not give a shit anymore. The power I grew up thinking people had over me is waning and waning. I will dance in all the space that is afforded me as those bonds shrink smaller than the slightest sliver of silver moonlight.

Truly, though, the space is not afforded me. I must breath into it. I must practice it like a tap dance practices the sharp smacks of her metal tap shoe against the studio floor. I must develop it the way a potter squeezes shapes into being. Instead of being squeezed, I must be the potter of my life and make it a jolly good vessel–shaped from within rather than from without.

Por eso (that is why), there is the Grey Room. It is smaller than I would like it to be, but the walls are nicely painted in a flawless soft grey. Bright white scaffolding threatened to appear but I banished it in the name of simplicity (escape from distraction). There is a closet, I know not why but cannot seem to do away with it. Perhaps it does or shall serve some purpose.

That is my grey room and from there I press out all the voices. Voices of my few dearest friends, of bills and oil changes, of religion or politics, of old friends and new acquaintances. From within that room I press back fervently against the pressures of ego. The raging what next and the persistent who gave you permission to do that. In that cool, dry place I channel my energy outward, for a short time, and do my best to create something a bit more spacious inside myself.

Really, instead of a potter with large hands pressing down from outside of the clay, I am a miniature person who woke up there inside of a red lump. Rather dry. Rather unassuming. But there I am, stuck, by some understandings. Full of potential, by others.

I am that little form going to work from within myself, with little hands squeezing, squishing, and caressing that clay into some sort of mug or vase or plate, even. From within my grey room, I create space for myself. The space I made today is nothing impressive in size or quality, but it is slightly more than yesterday.  I am breathing, and the work continues.

Stretch Your Muchness

I have about 15 minutes before I need to leave my house. I have sat down here because I am going to write. I am going to piggy back on Elizabeth Gilbert’s voice and authority (and probably content) because I have devoured more than half of her book, Big Magic, just TODAY. I am aching to write and terrified of it. I have been in no woman’s land where there is no grace and I almost wish punishment would come already because I have just been waiting here in torment and anything is better.

My inner critic is so strong that I can hardly choose what to eat for dinner, much less where to live or WHAT THE HELL TO WRITE. I feel that my voice has no relevancy, no value, no authority.

So I am writing to prove that untrue. Of course, it already is untrue, but that which is within me (my muchness, no doubt) is crying out to me: walk it out. It is not true until it is lived.

It is not true until it is lived.

How can I believe in grace if I have not worn it as a cloak, felt its bellowing embrace folding around me?

How can I speak of Love (I have not even had the courage to do that for months) if I do not wake up in the morning and speak the revelatory Divine Words of Love over me?

How can I find authority if I do not give myself permission to speak as one with authority?

Why can I not write like I do everything else: because it makes me better. I play basketball and soccer weekly because they make me better. I play alone usually and that is not a common sight where I live (23 year old white female playing basketball or soccer–that is definitely a team sport, arguably the most team sport….). Before my ankle injury I rode my bike through the forest because it made me better. I meditate to be better. I read to be better. I pray to be better.

Yet when I write, I get caught up on why I am doing it. I do not like any of the reasons my brain comes up with (Truth is also something I have to try on and sometimes, often, actually, it inexplicably does.not.fit) so I do not write. What a fucking absurd barrier between me and doing something that all the muchness within me is yearning for.

When I do not let my mind write it crawls over the input that comes at me from external sources. Instead of creating my mind becomes a parasite seeking to draw sustenance out of objects, conversations, foreign ideas, as if it is sucking marrow out of a bone. This mind was made for gymnastics. On the bench, it does not know what to do. I was made to cultivate my OWN ideas. I was made to produce the marrow of my life organically, to coax myself into fullness by coaxing the fullness out of the Magic all around me.

There it was. 15 glorious minutes that were not boring. What else might there be within me?

I Can Laugh Again

There is a moment of my life that I will never stop writing about.

It is you, Jamal. You fiery young one, left alone in so many ways.

I find myself burning with the desire to write about those moments which cannot be written or comprehended: they cannot be anything more than marveled at, danced with.

Yet here I am, writing just like people write about one another, about pets and history and anatomy. We do not know. We are alive. We explore, either because we want to know, or because we are alive, or both. Only the people know why.

There is me, there was me, there was that moment. Then there is the power that moment has to touch today–two years later–and to shape the moments I have survived between those two: today, that day.

It was Love, that moment. I thought I knew something of God (or gods) then; now I know I do not. I attributed it to God then, that love, but today I know less of that day than I did then though I have gained much from it.

When I saw the vein in his neck protruding and his head hung and his arms slung around like he was trying to convince us to be against him though, really, he was begging someone to be for him when he could not be for himself.

As something or someone in me rose up to be that one, graciously, unconditionally, for him in a crowd of embarrassed scoffers, I experienced the inexplicable Love. I pushed in as he pushed against himself because I know what it is to be trapped and alone and have no idea which way would be a better way because this is all I know.

That love changed everything because I felt such a wave of grace, such bizarre empowerment, that from then on (skipping like a school girl with a jump rope from that day to this day to all the rest of my days) I knew that if Love is true you will not need it anymore when it goes.

True Love gives you something so that when it leaves, you will not ultimately doubt its goodness but will trust its infilling power and know that when it is just you with yourself again, you will have a bit more of you to face you with.

There will be moments that skip across your life like smooth stones on a river, they will touch you, change you, and you will find yourself in that unpredictable phenomenon.

Someone or something will move toward you and you will move toward someone else. That is called dancing, and it is born from and carried out by Love.

You are loved

and

you will come to Love you.