Friday, September 13, 2013

the gray

It's been a while since I've felt myself slipping under the familiar Gray Cloud, but there you have it:

I'm officially depressed. 

I'm not looking for sympathy, though. I'm writing this because A. Sometimes it helps me to write about the things that bother me, and B. Sometimes it helps other people if I do so. I'm depressed, though, so I'm not feeling too hopeful :)

See what I did there -- with that smiley face? I acknowledged that life is funny. It is. Life is funny and good and full of joy and the fractal light of the Divine, and just because I don't feel it right at this moment, that doesn't mean I don't know that it's there. But who cares? Because when the Gray Cloud's there... there it is!

It's like that Emily Dickinson poem "Pain Has an Element of Blank."

Pain has an element of blank
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there was a time
When it was not.

It has no future but itself
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

I wrote a whole story about that in my book and titled the story "It has no future but itself," on account of I love the way Dickinson captured how you have to be in an experience in order to understand it emotionally and existentially.

Gotta write it down before I get over it, and forget. 

So... what is this? Where does it come from?

There was an inciting incident, of course -- the thing that set me off. But it's almost irrelevant what that was, since this is an emotional affliction, only indirectly linked to the circumstances of my life. While the Gray Cloud will use the things in my life to build its inner storm, my more rational self knows I've got it pretty sweet. 

What matters is what it feels like, though, and what it feels like is... Gray. 

Like, my arms feel heavy. Sodden. The skin between my eyebrows feels weighted -- but not by gravity, since it seems to be pressing in toward the center of my head. My eyes want to cry, I think, but can't seem to muster up the energy. 

There's a low-grade anxiety, too. Like, the sense that something bad is just about to happen, and although I can make out the fuzzy edges of what it is, it won't quite break through and come clear. I feel restless, as though there's something better or more interesting that I ought to be doing, even though I've got a fairly strong sense that it wouldn't do any good. 

All of this makes me feel super-alone, and to wonder and wonder and wonder why I can't seem to just do the things that I know will make me feel better. Things like:
  • Making things. Writing or painting or even singing. 
  • Exercising... and more than just one chin-up once a day, when I pass my chin-up bar. 
  • Communing with other humans. In person. With our faces.
  • Becoming still. Meditating. Slowing and listening. Praying.
Maybe it's because even though my intellect knows that these things will help, when I feel like this, my emotions (dirty traitors that they are) sullenly protest that it just ain't so. 

I'm running out of things to say about this. Normally I'd be looking for some pithy way to end the post -- something that would tie it all together and make sense of it.

Instead I'm just going to taper off with a whimper.

Because that's what it's like, under the Gray Cloud.

- - -


The post above was written at the tail end of about two weeks of gray. Then yesterday afternoon I had a great skype-talk with my philosopher/surfer friend in Nova Scotia, I spent some quality play-time with my son, and had Dave Matthews and Grover sing to me about Feelings. So... the cloud is dissipating.

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