I woke up this morning in a full-mode depression after weeks/months of a low-grade turn. I felt so low that I could not think of a single thing to write about today, and far worse, I cared less. The loss of hope, caring and spirit is the gut-sucker here while inspiration or lack ideas, words or images is secondary and merely a symptom. I had thought that the remedy needed was a get-away artist retreat or residency for a few weeks or even a short day-trip, otherwise tagged as an artist’s date (by the wise Julia Cameron), or simple break in routine. All of which are luxuries that do indeed help, but in the long run–luxuries do not fully replace daily nourishment or modest natural joy.
So I sat at the edge of my bed and uncorked the valve of tears and let them flow, and in doing so, I also decided that I cannot ignore or cleanly push Depression off to the side. I need to address and walk with her, Depression, and just let her be for what she is, despite the fact that I don’t even know what she is or why she visits. She simply takes up some of my time, space and energy. With that surrender and the tears came enough release and the recognition that we have to walk side-by-side sometimes, I was able to reset and begin a functioning and even noteworthy day. I noticed the underside of the half moon and its very real roundness, and began to note other small graces. I emerged from this darker side, and while driving, started to thank my team of Angels and Guides. I asked for a sign–calling it a gift for the first time to show me a bit of the magic in my life. Just as I was finishing the thought, a car turned quickly into my lane in front of me, and its license plate held My INITIALS ALL IN CAPS (yes as license plates are want to do). I smiled broadly and took this trivial delight as the sign/gift I asked for. I have not seen my initials on a car plate in decades, and since it’s all about timing–I felt blessed and gifted. I also began to tap into Inspiration, another of many walking archetype partners that I engage with. I had lost sight of her, Inspiration, this morning and now she is back. And though Inspiration is far more companionable than Depression or Grief, we all walk together taking turns to share and navigate the trail that is life and the artist’s way.
mubblefubble–walking depression into poetry
Let Chaos Be
A palimpsest on Let Evening Come by Jane Kenyon
(Palimpsest: a manuscript or piece of writing on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain; using the bones of the original writing as the basis and springboard for the new piece).
Let tongues wag 140
characters on Twitter feeds,
#hashtag words rife knife.
Let emotions loose
like mice in a field with summer
on their feet. Let chaos be.
Let red and blue placards sprout
from neighbors’ lawns. Let fake news
rupture the resounding silence.
Let traffic snarl. Let road rage.
Let the hurricane rip down Main Street.
Let chaos be.
To the microphones on podiums,
to televised debates, to Instagram photos
let chaos be.
Let it be, as it explodes. Fearless.
A cyclone that carries us blessedly beyond our own
front porch, so let chaos be.
Rain and Rust
Between all the self-talk —
and yearning for a potato chip.
If only I could paint this time
between rain and rust
how would that look?
Once I was a river wild,
whiskey notes, and
summer squalls bending light.
The day you asked
I could not explain
in search of some moment.
Despite all the doubts
it was worth the while
it takes to see fireflies
In the words you whispered,
wearing my wounds,
and the distance of blue.
AG ~ May 2016
Tucked into a sunny yellow pitcher-vase filled with fern, dainty caramel-colored roses, daisy-like chrysanthemums with lime green centers and wisps of goldenrod in bud came the simple note:
“You are loved”.
I am blessed for this and more friendship and family love, support and humor than I can possibly describe. For me, in between all the wonderful pitchers of flowers, poems, painting, dishes and such come periods and visits with depression. I am a person who sees the glass more than half full – someone who is filled with wonder at the sighting of acorns and oaks, moss and lichen on winter-wood, early morning dew and waves on the beach, profanity, profundity and poetry – i.e. all of life. And yet, I too can slip into dark periods best explained as close to hiding in a damp shadowy cave. Depression is not a state of mind or mood swing. It’s a physical and painful emotional state when your vitality or life force is ripped away, and all hope and humor disappears. You lose control of an objective rational approach to problem solving, your literal and figurative appetite and plain living. Sylvia Plath’s bell jar decends and from under its glass your inner and outer vision are distorted. Thankfully my times of depression are not as severe as many others, and I now know that an end is surely in sight. Depression can visit unexpectedly as well as build slowly and steadily. It is fairly common, democratic and browbeats at varying degrees.
I share all of this now, because it goes along with sharing the sun-yellow roses, poetry and paintings. It is life as a tapestry – well worn yet more beloved for its wear and tear and frayed edges.
To all my friends and family from my youth through new arrivals on the horizon – thank you always for the flower bouquets coming from your hearts and your compassionate understanding.
under-painting with blue brush strokes a tender portrait
Space For The Pain.
Funny thing how the heart works. And how the mind works to “protect” the heart from pain and in doing so – damages at the same time. We fight against heartbreak even on the most simple levels, and yet in the healing of inevitable heartache, if we allow it, there is a new space – a space for the pain. Not the searing knife-like spasms of grief, but the more nuanced pangs of loss and letting go. The mind no longer fights the pain, and thus releases the need for an ever open wound.
“What you resist persists.” “When you yield you heal.”
That’s what I mean by “space for the pain.” The pain does not go away completely, however it is like a wise elder who nods with a knowing that it’s all part of the plan. It’s all for the good.
nature’s window into
a knowing heart
ag ~ 2014
Holiday blues? Feeling rushed, stressed or depressed? I’ve got the drink for you! It warms inside and out and based on the go-to potion of the Mayans who knew a thing or more about the bitter, sweet and spice of life.
It’s a mix of 70% dark chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne pepper! Heat milk (preferably low-fat organic) or almond, hazelnut even coconut milk, stir in the mix and pour into a warm and beautiful earthen-wear mug. It is very rich so a little goes a long way to lift your spirits and boost your energy.
I purchased a bag of this pre-mixed and aptly named “Mayan Hot Drinking Chocolate” from SciasciaConfections.com or 215-996-0606.
I prefer to call this heart-warming drink of the gods – “Dark Knight of the Soul”. Truly a healing balm for the dark nights and cold days.
Petals of Light
Ice casts and splints
on tree limbs
shatter yet sparkle
their last light
and melt into snow.
Ison, the comet that hurled
toward our mother star
splinters yet freckles
fragments of light
and melts into sun.
on a windowsill
flake yet fragrance
petals of light
and melt into breath.
A giving heart
in many a bosom
grieves yet ripens
a healing light
and melts into moon and the dark of night.
ag ~ December 2013