When the dream came
I held my breath
with my eyes closed
I went insane,
Like a smoke ring day
When the wind blows
Now I won't be back
till later on
If I do come back at all
- From On the Way Home by Neil Young
My mind ravaged by wild dogs. Mauling my soul, setting my psychosis free. The unbound gory glory of a life in casual ruins with butter-topped mountains of light cascading toward me. A reckless beauty all its own.
I stare into the face of rapture but it turns back to assess my joy. There is none. And into this squalid scene of yesteryears I find the dumpling shaded morals of a society seeking somber solace. None.
The words come out and try to form meaning but I’m unable to grasp any at this time. I am ravaged by angst and depression and existential wonder. So here I sit awaiting my next mood, expecting just more sorrow but hoping for a reprieve. I know all the right things to do in these cases and have even written about it but doing them seems utterly impossible. How am I even writing these words? Where do they come from and where will they go? What is left here for me in this life? News, changes, the latest. Discovering more art. New films, old painters, classic literature, history exposing new truths and the gears of political machinery grinding through the lives of the disadvantaged creating nothing but capital gain for the wealthy. But it makes for interesting reading. Oh yes and there is poetry to be read, meals to be eaten, places to see, people to meet, sports thrills and disappointments to enjoy or endure. There is hope too. Always that. But it all looks so empty right now. I see vast seas of nothingness instead and I sigh deeply dreading the next thought, the next feeling, the anguish of living.
The terror of 1,000 sleepless Sunday nights wrapped into one momentary feeling occasionally ravages my brain. Ouch. It is tiring to be so weighted down with unhappiness. Maybe especially when there is nothing to be unhappy about. It all comes from nothing and it makes nothing feel like the only thing. Occasionally I start to weep but I suppose it is too much effort and instead I lower my head. The self indulgence of depression. The self pity of melancholia. The sweetness of possible relief — which, however, is impossibly distant. I get up and go anyway because I must. To stop and quit is still unthinkable. There must be a way forward somehow, someway. I have learned in this life that you always have to take the next step. Do the next task in front of you. Keep moving. These days it requires effort. I will myself to proceeded maybe because I’m OCD. It would just compound my misery to give up. The last thing I need is more pain.
Distractions abound but by definition their impact is but temporary. I can laugh out loud at some things on television or in movies. I can even be engaged by something I’m watching. Work provides a respite. Running not only distracts but the consequent endorphins keep my mood elevated for an hour or two after. Then I slump back down into the pit where swirling waters of inky blackness envelop me. And more sighs and more staring down or up or straight ahead but never seeing. Mind a blank, an open slate upon which all is written in invisible ink. Despair doubles down and wins big.
Wings of angels. That’s what I’d like to see. An angel rescuing me. Magic wand in hand sprinkling the cure and me dancing again. Don’t I wish. But to accept such a gracious gift I must be able to see it and feel it first. Would that such were possible.
The saddest thing is how natural this can feel, how right it seems how appropriate how deserved. Joy seems like it is the sole reserve of all the “other” people out there. I am not to be allowed such indulgences. No it is for me to be here in the forever doldrums. Eternally slumped in sadness. I know that can’t be true but it sure feels right. Oh my god.