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Stupid School Signs

Message on a streaming digital school sign:

One part congratulated a school team for winning the Chapionship, and another reminded students about a school socail. Education at work!

The Tar Pit

Struggling through a tar pit is a familiar feeling for some of us who live with depression. The struggle may be kept at bay with psychiatric pharmaceuticals which is an enormous relief for some.
Still the demons lurk in the background. Sometimes I forget, or at least hope, that the darkness won’t envelop me once again.

While on occasion there is an almost imperceptible shift in my view of the world, more often than not it is a sudden collapse, and I drop precipitously into the pit of doom. A good scene for a horror movie. For a person who is depressed the horror is all too real.

No, I cannot just get out of it and think of all I have to be grateful for. No, I cannot get over it by thinking about someone else, someone who has it worse than I. The fact is I can do these things. I am grateful for all that I have, and I can be glad about helping another who asks for or needs my help.

I can know all this. I can know how those close to me would feel if I decide life is more than I can handle. I have put my loved ones in this position and am fortunate to be able to write this. I understand why others take this final and irreversible step, yet even knowing this I get angry at them.

The bleakness of my world in times of depression is all consuming. Everything is hard and exhausting. I will never emerge from the misery and often don’t even care. For those who step in to throw a lifeline with no judgement attached, I know what you’re doing even if I can’t be bothered to acknowledge the proffered hand or help myself.

Despite myself, eventually the tar pit becomes less thick and the struggle is less of a slog. The darkness and the demons recede and the pit of doom is less doomful. Life returns. It feels not unlike returning home from a long trip and having to reorient myself.

Time to breathe and hope.

Another Addition

Attempting, again, to be more consistent about keeping up with this website, I update with a few miscellaneous items.

I begin anew with another writing project. My first foray into nonfiction struck suddenly. Sitting on my front porch a few months ago, I was compelled by some unknown force to run inside to grab paper and pencil, and my hand seemed of its own volition to write the beginnings of a story. I don’t know where it came from or where it will go, but I have switched from pencil to a fountain pen and am going along on the journey.

I continue to add more paintings to my Gallery of Weird Art and am often torn in deciding which craft to pursue. Damn! There are other things that demand my time, even things I enjoy: reading, petting the cats, walking the dog, driving fast, being with or talking with friends and family, eating, zoning out …. And, Damn! There are all those things that demand my time that are less enjoyable: cleaning, laundry, dishes, changing the litter box…Damn!

I think I’ll add some more things into the mix too, but those will emerge at random.

Political Brilliance

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order to remove the Common Core from the state’s educational policy. Maybe he didn’t know that his predecessor, the reptilian Rick Scott had already done this by changing the name of the test to the FSA. The governor replicate wants the new test “streamlined” whatever that means in context of testing.
Call it Common Core, FCAT, or FSA, but the only name that fits is Stupid!

end of year whine

Once again my lack of attention to this website has caused me little pangs of guilt that have finally spurred me into action. It has been a year since the publication of my book Too High to Go to Woodstock: recollections on my life and times. My recollections of this year have been mostly positive and even upbeat, and one theme that has been a constant over this year is that of change. This time of the year brings many, especially media sources, the desire to reflect and recount the major stories and events of the past year. Enough! Rehashing the old stuff gets old. So no rehashing here. Well, just one: CUBS WIN, CUBS WIN! The World Series at last!

Another annoying aspect that comes with the end of a year is that of looking ahead. Looking forward to positive changes is a reasonable objective, but the outcomes do not necessarily follow the best laid plans. Most often any change I faced was tinged with fear or regret, usually accompanied by a stubborn refusal to accept the inevitable. Many of my old “recollections” were simple. NO! I want this moment, day, activity and/or feeling to last forever.

Yet, something has changed. There is an air of excitement about the possibility of doing things differently or of doing different things. I am eager to make changes, but when things don’t go fast enough or go the way I want them to, exasperation and frustration set in.

As I drifted off to sleep last night with my windows open, I heard an owl hoot, a very common sound near my house. I was reminded of the essay “Listening for Owls” by Scott Russell Sanders, and how my new attitude about change has been brought about because I am listening to my inner owl (okay-corny).  It may be no coincidence that Sanders lives in Indiana, but my longing to return to the scene of so many of the so-called crimes described in my memoir, is kind of weird considering that most of my life was spent trying to get out, to run from that Midwestern state. That owl last night echoed my thoughts and the mantra that has run through my consciousness this past year: I want to go home! Whiney? Maybe, but as I stirred awake this morning, roused by the distant call of a rooster, my first thought (who knows why it popped into my head?) was of a little sing-song nursery rhyme/ditty I heard as a child and one that seems appropriate to the season:

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat

Please put a penny in an old man’s hat;

If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do,

If you haven’t got a ha’penny, God bless you.

 

This doesn’t seem connected to anything else I’ve just written, and I’m not even sure who’s the “you” that God will bless. But…I actually do have a ha’penny, so do I still get a blessing or do I have to look for an old man with a hat?

 

So I guess I am looking ahead, expectantly, desiring the outcome I want but aware that expectations are not always met.

language

“The work of language deserves our greatest care, for the tongue’s fire may devour the world, or may light the way.”

Scott Russell Sanders