Monday, June 22, 2020

Masks

I know there are areas in this state where people aren't wearing masks now, but in my neighborhood--the ultra-progressive Avenues of Salt Lake City--people still do. I also wear one when I go into stores (which isn't that often) but I will say I haven't gotten used to the sight of them. The whole scenario of people pushing carts around while wearing masks seems so surreal to me, so Twilight Zone-ish. And then there are the other mask-wearers' reactions. I tend to smile at strangers, who usually smile back. So there I am, still smiling and not eliciting a smile in return and then I go, "Oh yeah. We can't see each others' faces."

Such weird times.



Friday, June 19, 2020

Ghosting

I have a friend who's angry with me right now because I haven't responded to her very kind, concerned texts. She accused me of "ghosting" her. Which, okay, I did. But not for the reasons she thinks. The truth is that when you're this kind of depressed, all social interactions--even with the people you love, especially with the people you love, in fact--are difficult. You don't have a lot of psychic energy for one thing. All your energy literally goes to putting one foot in front of the other. Also, you worry that you'll disappoint people because you're not the person they've come to know and love. So there's that.

This is my way of saying I'm sorry I'm not truly there for you right now. Give me a little time, and I promise I will be. I so value the people in my life.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

So Many Shoes

This morning when I was out for one of my walks, I passed a home where clearly many children reside because there was a haystack of shoes on the front porch. The sight of said shoe haystack made me smile (look! I smiled!) because it reminded me of those days when we had five boys living in this house, who piled shoes in our entryway. Friends' shoes made their way into the pile, too. And here's the deal. When those shoes turned into teenager shoes, they were S,M.E.L.L.Y! Let's just say I invested in a lot of scented candles during those years.

Anyway. As I looked at all those shoes, I wondered if there was a poem hidden somewhere in the middle of them.  I'll give it a think.


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Tiny, Tiny, Tiny Poem

I miss you, my son texted last night--
Words coming to me through the air
From halfway across the country--
And I wanted to text him back
I miss you and
I miss me, too.

This is what I want:
To taste the salt of my own tears again.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Dreaming a Dream

When I'm this kind of depressed, I stop dreaming. Or maybe I don't stop dreaming but I can't remember my dreams when I wakeup, which makes me sad because I have always relied on my dreams to instruct me--if not exactly entertain me-- at some level.

But last night I dreamed I was my regular self. My regular, anxious, laughing self. And when I woke up this morning--still with the heavy dark blanket of depression swaddling me--I felt hopeful. So I'm just going to say thanks to the universe for that and let it be what it is.

Thanks, Universe.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Rain, Rain

I've thought about taking down my last few posts. As I mentioned before, with everything that's going on in the world right now, writing about the personal experience I'm having just seems so utterly (I said this before) self-indulgent. And I may still delete them.

But before (and if!) I do, I'd like to write about this weekend's rainstorms because weather drama! Typically, rain is my least favorite weather condition. Dude. I am all about the sun. But right now as I hear it pattering against my bedroom window, and as I stood on my front porch last night just so I could smell it as it rolled in from the west desert, I was filled with surprising gratitude for it and the beauty of the natural world.

Thank you, rain.


Thursday, June 4, 2020

What to read . . .

I've been making my way (slowly) through the new Erik Larson book, The Splendid and the Vile because who doesn't want to read about WWII when you're depressed?

Actually, I started reading LOTR when the pandemic started. What could be better than reading about an epic journey through uncertain times (gah! how many times have we heard that phrase! in car commercials, even!) during our own uncertain journey? Besides, I have loved, loved, love those books, ever since I found a paperback version of The Fellowship of the Ring in a drugstore in a mostly deserted Pomona mall at age 16 when I was on a recruiting trip with my dad. I have since re-read those books a number of times, and they have always provided me with a certain amount of comfort.

But. This time--for the first time--I became impatient with little hairy-toed men spouting poetry at me. Poetry in novel cuts into the narrative flow, don't you think?

Besides--and here's the real point of this post--I have an easier time reading non-fiction when I'm depressed. Even if the events are hard and tragic (hello, WWII), there's a certain distance between the reader and the subject. In some ways, the reader is asked to respond intellectually when reading non-fiction rather than emotionally, unlike fiction which aims to "draw you in." And when you're emotionally exhausted, which is the hallmark of this kind of extreme depression, being drawn in just makes things harder.