I used to write posts about ruminating but haven’t done it lately. I’ve been more goal oriented, apparently. But I’ve caught this late winter malaise that wants to be a yearly event. And once it settles down and begins testing me in earnest all thoughts of goals tend to go out the window.
So we are going to ruminate today as part of the recovery process.
And the first part of our rumination is about the idea that things are really that bad because 99 percent of the time they are not nearly as dark as they could be. Betsy has a lifelong friend who lost her 26 year old son in an avalanche this past week. He was a super guy who was loved by many and he was skiing in the Colorado back country. He had the survival gear you are supposed to have but it was no help. They found his friend who was also buried under a ton of snow. But not him.
He is gone.
Betsy feels terrible about this tragedy. And I feel terrible, too. But I was feeling terrible before it happened and now it’s time to reach out of the gloom. Life is always going to be chaotic and painful. But there are moments every day when one has to smile. There’s a little bird who likes to look at us through the window in this room. There are photos in FB this morning of Kate as she gets ready to celebrate her birthday. And there are beautiful clouds in the sky. Perhaps I’m being insensitive to say these things at this moment. But my experience is that when you are in a state of depression you are at war. And in war there are casualties you don’t necessarily have time to mourn at the moment.
Soon I will be going on a hike up near Front Royal. It’s a ten mile trek with lots of elevation and will take over five hours to finish. So it will be a challenge. Isn’t it nice to be able to do such a thing? I also joined a nearby Meetup group that is all about the arts, the Ashland Arts Alliance. This ought to be interesting. I love artists. I enjoy the fact that they are different. And I am amazed at the things they often create.
So I joined the group. Isn’t it nice to be able to do such a thing?
I have heard a rumor that spring will be here in a few weeks. And, for awhile here in Virginia, the weather will be not too hot and not too cold. The humidity will not yet have arrived. And the flowers will join us with their delightful array of colors and smells. Could it be that there will be a moment or two in the days ahead to smile? Perhaps a beloved spouse will be heard laughing in the next room. Or a child who has not been seen in awhile will return home and need a hug.
It could be that there will be an evening with a warm breeze that causes someone to look at the darkening sky and notice a shining star. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a night when dreams come swiftly and we find ourselves flying over an endless forest of trees towards a light inhabited by those we love who have been relieved of the burdens we still carry.
You never know who you are going to meet in your dreams. I sometimes recognize folks I have never met but have grown to know on FB or here on this blog! Leave a comment!
I may get back to you. . .
Life is pain but it is also something else. “There is another way out of this cave” as John Updike once wrote. I see it up ahead. And there is also a path up to the top of the mountain. I once read a book about [[wiki:John Berryman]], the 20th century American poet who used to practice jumping off a chair until, one day, he felt ready to jump off a tall bridge. Many of those who do not struggle with depression fail to understand why someone would do this. Maybe they also do not understand why this post is not solely about the tragedy of a young person who leaves us too soon.
I climb mountains instead of jumping off them. Heights are cool. The air is fine up there. I would rather practice going UP and, hopefully, someday reach a place that is closer to the sun. Or the moon.
Or the stars. If this is possible. And, I believe, it is.