Here it is, after six, and I have no words or thoughts on the page. They’re all in my head. I have conversations and tell stories there all day long. They keep me company. I’m never lonely. It is a good thing. It is tough enough to have SAD but at least I can entertain myself and not to fight loneliness as well.
I don’t want to leave you with an impression that I am having a bad time all the time. I am not. There’s some positive things about having seasonal affective disorder. Honest, there is. For sure I struggle with sleepiness, sluggishness, moodiness, forgetfulness, anxiety and depression. But what and who would I be without those struggles? I am one who does not/cannot stay in the undesirable and unsustainable. My instinct for survival always makes me reach up and out for the light.
I can say that this life of mine is exciting and full. My life is my canvass and palette. I am the artist. I can choose what I want to create. I can choose the colours. Is it gold or blue? Does it have to be black and white? Can I make a rainbow? Would I be able to paint those colours if I have not experienced them all? So I do not mind being in the blues or the darkest of the blacks. I have also felt the goldens and tangerines. I’m always learning. I am always open to the way. I try not to question too much. I don’t have to understand how things work. I can just do it.
I love the power of music to lift the spirits. On another day, I would probably head to the stereo and put on K. D. Lang’s Hallelujah and let her voice carry me up, over, and beyond. Most likely I would put on Sachmo’s What a Wonderful World. His raspy voice is as beautiful and stirring as K.D.’s. I could very well sing, sway and dance along with Miss Carol Channing, Well hello Dolly, well hello Dolly…
However, today I am putting on the quiet, listening to the music of silence. I am listening to the colours of the rainbow around me. It is so strengthening for the heart and soothing to the soul. The whole orchestra is playing. Hear the joy.
So far today, I have not try to put any order to my office. The day is hot. The neighbour’s music is loud and insistent. I cannot think. My blood sugar is low and I am getting cranky. I put on Pavarotti & Friends 2 on my portable. I put it on the deck and crank the volume up. I like to see how she likes it, she who wants to hear the birds sing. So much for kindness and compassion. My words are not going according to my intentions!
It is a little later. I am bolstered by some crackers and walnuts. I am a little mellowed by a glass of wine. Pavarottie & Friends are done but the beat is still going strong next door. It is all right. Everything is copacetic. I am done with tit for tat. There is no satisfaction in it except deafness. And I cannot afford to lose any more hearing.
I am being kind to myself, not going down or up the spiral staircase of anger. I no longer hold any feelings of irritation. I really do not want to hurt others in the same way that I am hurt. That is what compassion is. It is not an easy thing to practice. So often I want to give the other person a taste of their own medicine. There, you take this or that! See how you would like it.
I am remembering Karen Armstrong’s talk on compassion. The beat is going on louder next door. Ahhh, human frailties! We so crave for attention and love and yet we do not know how to love. I am so happy to have seen Karen’s talk. Otherwise, I do not know where I would be.
I am looking at the flowers before me….pastel colours of pink, blue, yellow and white. The flowers came from a genteel woman’s celebration of her 90th year. She holds the key to the United Church in Maidstone, Saskatchewan, Canada. I guess you can guess what kind of woman she is. The colours of the flowers soothe and calm me. Sweet pastels!
Kindness is such an easy and hard thing. It is in your choosing. Have you been kind today? Enjoy this poem on kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye. It is truly awesome.
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
Yesterday the sun did not come out at all. My world was bathed in grey. But despite it, I got out of bed, dressed, ate, lived.
After being on this earth for a few years, I have learned a few tools. I know, or should know what to do. There is no point in complaining about the weather, pouting, procrastinating and being difficult to those around me. My brain knows that and I say that to myself frequently through the day. Do the right thing. Don’t revert to your bad habits. Just put one foot in front of the other and MOVE!
Even if it is cloudy outside, I always feel a relief when I step outdoors. My body heaves this big sigh and I can breathe and relax again. So off to the dog park Sheba and I go in the afternoon. I feel the physical discomfort of those oppressing clouds. And we are stopped on the way by a train passing. And so there we are, waiting….It has many cars. So we wait and I am conscious of my physical yukkiness. But that is just what it was…some kind of yuk, nausea, ugh! But I do not die. I watch and count the cars as the train speeds along. I am distracted out of my discomfort.
Distraction is the biggest tool I have learned in these last few days. I am a slow learner, but better late than never. Maybe I have always been in too much of a hurry before, busy collecting information and things… . too busy collecting and never making use. Have you been there?
I am feeling as if I have just been waken up from a deep slumber. I feel like Sleeping Beauty, being kissed by her Prince, only I have been kissed by LIFE. I am awed by life. Now I see even when the skies are grey, there are the colours of the rainbow all around me…in what we wear,
in what we eat,
in the things we surround ourselves with.
Today I am surrounded by sunlight in my room. I am soaking it up and storing the memory of its warmth and glow for those not so sunny days. But having been conscious of our own powers of making sunshine, I will always know how to walk in sunshine.