Sunday, February 1, 2009

"I made a mistake" and SAD (seasonal affective disorder)


So sad was I as I realized yesterday that I had accidentally removed my writing blog from this planet forever. I thought at the time I was deleting the blog on which I had only a few of my pictures in larger format. When I went to find a story for a friend yesterday the understanding came to be. Now in a better place in my mind, I knew I had to let it go. I thought of this journal page I had made a little over a year ago. That mistake had more life altering effects. This mistake is minimal.
And so I will look for remnants of that blog in my computer. Today I will share the story that I was going to show to my friend. The story is called "Caves" and was actually three pieces which I put together. I wrote it about four or five years ago. The reason I wrote "Caves" initially had much to do with my Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is also about loneliness. If you or someone you know suffers from SAD you may find the story interesting. If you are not certain whether you have SAD you could probably read it. I know the story has helped a number of people already. Maybe it is meant to help you also.


"When the sun shines
The snow
Has such an enchanting sparkle
You can imagine you are a fairy princess
Flitting carelessly over the snow.

When the sun shines
The crystals and stained glass
Hanging in the window
Put magical spots of color
On the pale yellow walls.

The small birdhouse
Of tiny mirrored tiles
Sets coins of light
On yet another pale wall.

Each spot of color
And coin of light
Says
“I am with you -
No need to be frightened.”

When the sun shines
The colors are so intense
They nearly take your breath away.


The hoar frost
Is like something
You thought you could only imagine.

When the sun shines
We see “God’s promise”
In the rainbow.
For that instant in time
We know, all is well.


They said my writing is mystical. They said, “You need to give more details”. They said, “You must explain more.” Yes, but this writing is difficult. This explaining is painful. If I write creatively, if I write mysteriously, they will not get the full picture. I suppose that is what I want. I suppose it may hurt too much to write it more clearly. I suppose I am scared to have the writing understood more fully. The reader might find me strange, more strange than I already see myself.
I have been a victim of seasonal affective disorder. Though I have been using the lights for a number of years, I still feel the effects of this requirement for extra sunlight through some of the more bitter winter months, and through times when the goddess of light can not be seen clearly through periods of grey regardless of the time of year.
The loneliness is so big. Sometimes it feels the loneliness is consuming me. Perhaps it is a tiny microorganism gnawing away at my shell. Sometimes it feels more like a monster, trying to devour me in one huge gulp. Often I am unable to dredge up the energy required for fighting this beast. As my shell is consumed in greater and greater and yet greater quantities, the energy drains out of me more and more rapidly. I need to quash the animal. Somehow I need to bandage the spot. I need to keep the first tiny flickering of doubt from even entering. I must encase myself in a stronger shell so the loneliness cannot be all consuming. Yet, importantly, I must let the shell be porous. My sensitivity is paramount to my being. Somehow I must hold out the pain. The fine attunement to feeling must remain. As I search for the balance, I seek the caves.
In some months, I am not even able to remember the caves. The weight of the darkness is too heavy. Instead, I might see birds, like in January. This particular January, my eyes wanted to give me problems, not just literally, but figuratively as well. I opened the door to let January in. She was not totally unexpected. Calmly, she proceeded into my sanctuary. December had flown through on beautiful, graceful wings of a dove. At times she was bold – an eagle. At times she was wise - a snowy owl. Raucous behaviour with wisdom, noticed later, was displayed as a crow. Yes, December had gone flying through.
Now January wanted to stay. It felt she wanted to stay forever. She was not flying through. I tried often to find the indigo birds. Indigo birds were spots of light I could often see when I was relaxed and had my eyes closed. I imagined them being a message from God, telling me “all is well.” In January these birds were hiding. Instead it felt like some huge creature, maybe a vulture, was under my eyelid, stuck inside. It kept flapping its’ wings, trying to escape. Finally it would be free, only to return a day later with even greater struggles. I tried to relax. I tried to set it free, but the trying, was difficult.
At times, when the sun shone and the air was calm, the dove of December seemed to still fly through gracefully. But then panic soldiers were banging at the doors again, demanding to come inside. They would come storming in, marching, stomping, shouting. Maybe they were telling the vultures to leave, or maybe calling in more.
Then only sixty some days later I would question - why must March, why must Spring, feel so much like walking in the deep, dark forest? Why does it feel like I will never find my way through the forest with all its’ darkness? Why does the ringing phone frighten me like the howling of a wolf? Why do the grey skies hang overhead like the darkness of death? Why do the clouds feel like clouds of dust, making breathing ever more difficult, ever more complex? Why must every step bring the fear of falling into the deep dark water? And this water holds no beautiful coral. There are no beautifully coloured fish. Because of the dense forest above, the water is murky. The water holds - maybe sharks, maybe creatures with eight arms, maybe more, waiting to grab any unsuspecting life that lets itself fall through the surface. Why must March feel like a great, humungous, rough, black blanket being tossed over me, stifling me? Why am I being pushed to the ground, into the water, yet further into the deep, deep darkness?
Oh why must March leave me feeling so weak, that the devil is holding my hand? He is holding my hand and pulling me. Pulling me where? Pushing me, with whatever strength may be required to get me even deeper into the darkness.

The caves, they bring me some comfort, if only I remember to enter. I go in search of stalactites and stalagmites. Some of the formations I have found in the past. Of these, very few seem within reach any more. They seem to desire, often, to be out of my line of vision. Or maybe they have somehow diminished in their size. How could that be of a stalactite or stalagmite?
Sometimes I wander aimlessly in search. Other times my footsteps follow a known path. Occasionally the known path still leaves me searching. They are not where I thought. Or perhaps I can see them, many of the stalactites and stalagmites, but they are too far in the distance. I keep traveling, apparently round in circles, and still cannot reach them.
Then I might look back. I walked right past and missed them. I turn. Now they are gone again. I wonder if I could be at peace if I would leave the caves. No, I entered while looking for peace.

The season of snow and ice passes. The caves do not beckon so much. There are other adventures. Now the seashore beckons. Bare toes can dig in the sand. Waves can be counted. A gentle breeze can be felt in the leaves. The coming storm may rage. Sparks will fly.
About me, there is a contentment. I sense harmony. I enjoy the green life floating in the air, flowing in my veins.

Again the flow seems to chill. The green turns to gold, and then brown. I glance at the caves, knowing soon the time will come.
The entrance to the cave appears to broaden. As I approach, I notice immediately some small arrangements. They are familiar and lovely. I nod and move on. There are more, many more. I look about. Though most seem familiar, I see new figures. I stop for a time to take in their beauty. Then I continue. I had caught a glimpse in the past of something rare, but achievable. I have many steps to make. The path seems long.
And then, I nearly have to close my eyes. The sun is shining through. I do not care from where it originates. The crystal structures are of such beauty. I feel so rich. There is one, more, yet another. I seem to be able, miraculously, to hold a piece. They had become part of me. I see one, maybe two, or three more. I take in their beauty. I feel their strength. They seem to gather strength from me. Then it is time to leave. Empowered, I am able to depart from the cave. Now that I know where the crystallizations are, I will be able to return. Sometimes the road will still be long. But I know the path. And I will again feel the contentment of the caves."

4 comments:

Dawn said...

I am so sorry that you lost your blog - all that work!!!
But Wendy, this piece that you have shared is so moving; your eloquence knows no bounds - you make me feel what you are relating.
I came with you on your journey to the caves and I THANK YOU for sharing it with me.
I wish for you to walk in the sun for many a long day, and to go to the caves when you need to for recharging
sending love xxx

windy angels said...

thank you Dawn. The loss of that blog is not so much a problem for me as it is more so a problem for those who might benefit from all the stories. I know where to find most of my writing on my own computer BUT none of my friends would be able to access that :)
I am touched that you appreciate my writing so much. I suspected you might find some connection there. You may find more of my writing in the older posts from 2006 on my previous blog http://windyangels.blogspot.com
thank you for the beautiful wishes
xo

Tammy Kushnir said...

I am sorry you lost your work too. My husband sufferes from SAD and I think my dad may too. It can be devestating. I wish you well!!!

windy angels said...

thanks Tammy. I've been using the SAD special lights for quite a number of years and they really help.
wishing you a happy weekend.
xo

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