I haven’t written anything for the blog in a while now. I’m pretty over due on a few of my self-inflicted deadlines as well. But I have still been writing. Not a lot, and nothing really for public consumption. I figure it still counts.
I’ve been trying to keep myself busy in non internet dependent ways. Which is a little tricky when I start getting melancholy or lonely. I can fake it online – I can busy myself in videos and articles and read everyone’s updates and current going’s on. Of course with that comes a lot of the reason that I want to avoid the internet in the first place. The mindless, time sucking distractions only being the tip of it all.
Avoiding the internet has led to a few other habits, which may be good or not depending on their long term value and result. I buckled down and started a clean out trend the other day. Going through my/our stuff and getting rid of things. Clothes, jewelry, stuff, clutter. I dropped my witch/altar stuff down to what I will actually end up using and reorganized the storage. Got rid of a good quarter of my clothes, things like that. I still have a lot to do, but these days any palpable progress is worth at least double its value.
I’ve been pretty depressed off and on. Sort of just fed up with a lot of things. Depression is something that I’ve struggled with for near as long as I can put a handle on memory-wise. I mean, I do remember times in my childhood where things were great. Where I moved with the joy and abandon a child should. But most lie between smudges and stains of forgotten things, unpleasantness and false events. Or else, what feel as though it were false. Given the backdrop of a young age, I think it’s valuable to be able to look at things through a lens of could be and possible fabrication.
My depression, I think, was encouraged mostly by situational matters. Abuses, traumas, and so on. The sorts of things that people will rail against hearing because, after all, you’re just bringing everyone down. The sorts of things that lead to being excluded from events and having the more well meaning of your group give you a heart to heart chat about how you really shouldn’t attend such-and-such event or party. Well trimmed words, all pale and pompous. Paternalistic.
That’s the thing people don’t seem to get about depression. Anxiety. Or any number of other such things, I’m sure. Though I can speak only of my own reach.
It isn’t just an event. It’s not scheduled or controllable. It’s never just one instance or one emotion. It’s more of an undercurrent. Like the buzz or hum of cheap electrical cords. It’s there. Whether you notice it or not. And it will still be there, beneath the silence, ringing in your head as though your ears had recorded it. Echoing unnoticed, long after you’ve removed the offending wires. Even if your spouse, or friend, or neighbor never heard it at all.
Maybe that’s a bad analogy, but the feeling in my head tells me it’s good enough. That echoing repeating pattern.
Whether its chemical or hormonal or some sort of trauma, it doesn’t really matter. Sure the rise and fall may be different. The pitches and depths have a different tone. Maybe what sends one person spiraling will seem a joke to another. It’s still there. Even if you’re never troubled again. It’s still there.
It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since the events or patterns of your past have been broken. Maybe you’re doing great. Months or years go by. You can have the lewdest, most inappropriate conversations about anything. You can watch and listen to the very worst and hardest stories or films. But one day you’re standing in line at a gas station and the man across the hall smiles at you. And you remember.
It may not haunt you, but it reveals itself. A little flash of skin and pain, like some dirty scrap of bone under the roses. All hidden in the polite white line of a stranger’s teeth. Maybe you shrug it off and go about your day… and maybe three days later it torments you in the dark of the bathroom drain.
Brains are funny things that way. Memories, even more so.
There are a lot of things I don’t remember, whether due to some bizarre psychological block, medication, or alcohol. Some of them I’d love to know. There were good moments in there. Photo shoots on the railroad tracks, running through the waves at the beach… my heart tells me these were good times. but they’re mere snapshots in my head. A single photocopied Polaroid on my hard drive. The remembered sensation of the sun on my chest as someone laughs. Full and loud, and at my expense.
Between them are others that I would like to remember. Faceless men in the shadows. Pains, that I can guess, but whose cause is simple not on file. I know these things happened. Between what I remember and what is lost to black in the hollows of my skull. I would remember these too, though they are often what drives my anxiety. Though they sometimes come with the word or phrase, the turn of a grin, that will send me back into the hardest peaks of depression. They happened and they are important to me. They changed things. There were choices made and memories forged. Faces and names that should not be forgotten… if only to keep them at bay in the future. If only so that they cannot ambush you in the parking lot of Starbucks.
Lately I’ve been depressed. Just sort of dragging low. I’ve been inclined to ignore and avoid everything. To sink beneath the metaphorical covers and let my head be enveloped in feather and furs. Hide from it all, keep the thoughts from spiraling. Do nothing. See nothing. Be nothing.
There’s a lot in there that is the cause or effect of fear. Also of resistance. To some nameless looming bridge, and to the hollow, emptied banks beneath. I find myself staring at the artwork of others. Watching mindless YouTube videos and filling my sight with things that never were my own.
I’ve been playing a lot of video games. Occupying myself with fiction and events impossible or unreal. They give me purpose and siphon out stress. Recreation for the sake of recreation.
And sometimes, in the lull between songs, as I clean or arrange my altars. I think of those things I should write, those things I have written and am writing. I’ll make a list of things I would type or say if I had the strength of iron in me, a brass and steel circle… the bowl in which to set my heart afloat in blood, above the core of power within my ribs. I think about them. I sound them out in my head. Maybe I whisper them to myself. No sound, only the trace of lips. To make them real, at the line and swirl of my tongue. Not so real that I’d have to see them. That I could hold or caress them beneath my palms.
I hold too much fear, I know. But I hold it in hands that are clawed. I hold it out so that I may see it. In the shadow. In sunlight. In the bright burning red or purple that comes from within and beneath. Beyond.
As a lion. I wonder if it is something I could swallow.
I wonder if it is anything which I must embrace, overcome. I grow still and ponder how best it can be consumed and reshaped.
Myself… I am alone. Which is good.
We each are alone. Beneath the layers. No matter how many read our words and smile and applaud and praise us… still they are separate, still they are far. As it is and should be. Alone we must consider our own shit. Alone we can discover if we are made of stuff which will withstand or will simple crack and shatter beneath the weight of living.
And so it is… I write on my own, for my own. I sing to my gods in a broken voice not suited to such melodies. I use my hand to shape by word and by more physical means, though my fingers are not so nimble as the spiders that skitter over head. I watch and I listen… though I am as rash and obstinate as any.
Mortal frames are not made for much, but mortal frames contain far more. So I sit and work and write those things which I cannot understand, which I no longer know, which I may never grasp in the flesh and pop of tendon.
I neglect public things, because now is the time to shatter feet from glass and move. Though they may drag bloody and broken behind. Summer is on the rise… coming, daunting, threatening as ever. I saw the first tiny dragonflies last week in the heat and burn of the sun on the broken field.
With summer comes madness. Rut and hunt and blood pumping heights. And if you cannot survive the spring, you may as well fall as the flowers withering already on the vine.
To live sometimes means pain. Sometimes means doubt and fear and frenzy. It is time to take stock and sift through what’s left so that we can move forward.
My madness may at times be deep, but it is the madness born of my Queen. There is no room for cowardice and evasion here.