Posts Tagged ‘depression’

My friend, Evan, has commented that I may be obsessed with tractors, and I’m not saying he’s entirely wrong…he knows me too well.  He’s seen me go through some crazy things in the past ten years or so, and he knows I can get a bit fixated sometimes. 

Which made me consider whether or not I actually am obsessed with tractors, and I can honestly say I’m not.  I like them, sure. I like being able to drive one and work the soil, but it’s not the tractors that fascinate me, it’s what they can do. It’s what I can do with them, how they have influenced my family, and what they represent for me.

A few years ago, I became fascinated with sailing ships of the past, galleons and brigs and frigates, Jack Aubrey, Horatio Hornblower, and pirates of the oceans blue.  I even took a few sailing classes before I realized that I was a bit too clumsy for sailing.  But although I learned as much as I could about ships and rigging, sailing and fighting, I don’t think it would be fair to say that I was obsessed with ships. 

I was obsessed with escape.  Escape from my problems, escape from my hopelessness, escape from my pain.  And for that period in time, ships and sailing represented freedom for me, the ability to leave my life behind and never leave a trail.  I wanted to visit brave new lands, live carelessly and free, anonymously, unattached, unfettered, and unafraid.

I’ve changed, and my “vehicle of choice” has  apparently changed, as well.  Instead of looking for mental escape on the ocean roads, I seek to plant seeds of stability and put down roots in the Earth.  I’ve stopped trying to run away, and have invested myself in cultivating relationships and planting seeds for my future.   The hours I spend on the tractor and in the garden have yeilded a harvest, not only of food, but of memories, traditions, wisdom and closeness with my family that I’ve never allowed myself before.  The tractor, the ability to drive it, to work it, to till the land, and raise harvest with my own hands, ties me to my family, my heritage, my grandfather.  It is a bond between where I come from, and who I am.

I’ve come to realize that, if my dreams for the foundation and for the land come to fruition, I will, in essence, be “grounded”, rooted to that place and to that work, and strangely, I welcome it.  I long to leave a legacy for future generations, to leave a mark of my passing through in the same way that the tiller leaves a path in the soil from which a plentiful harvest can grow.  I want to stay in one place, for the first time in my life, and cultivate a life of growth. 

My running with the wind days are over, it seems.  My setting down roots has begun.

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The difficult thing about keeping a personal blog, is that sometimes you want to blog about the deepest, most personal things, but you don’t want certain people to read it. This is that kind of post. All it can possibly do is mar my best friend’s perfect happiness, and I don’t want to do that.

[So Emilie, really, don’t read this.]

But here’s the rub: she has no hesitation about blogging about her greatest joys, and she shouldn’t. But for those of us who don’t experience much great joy in life, who have to create our joy out of the moments that merely aren’t exceedingly painful, should we feel hesitant to post about our feelings, which are just as valid, because they might bring someone else down for awhile?

Sometimes, I don’t talk to people for days because I’m in a depressive, negative mood, and I don’t want to inflict that on the people I love. Should I silence my blog in the same way I silence my mouth? Probably. But maybe not. I am who I am, scars and all, and my heart is full tonight, with my head spinning around in sympathy.

So, here goes.

Welcome back, old companions. Imagine finding you here, knocking at my door, so soon after leaving Emilie in her hospital room with her beautiful new daughter. My friend looked positively radiant, and her husband, so proud and solicitous of Emilie’s comfort. To see that young family there, with so much ahead of them, and the proud and loving grandparents hovering nearby, was the very image of perfection, of lives fullfilled, of dreams made flesh and love, of hope for the future. It was, in short, every good thing.

I had suspected that some of my familiar haunts would visit me this Halloween, but look! You’re all here again! Of course, Sadness, I expected you. You live just across the street and pop in from time to time, so I wasn’t surprised to find you on my doorstep. Fear, I hadn’t seen you for awhile. I thought you’d lost my number, but I guess you found it there in the bottom of your junk drawer. Self-loathing, I thought I had left you behind when I changed neighborhoods, but somehow you followed me here. Guilt and Failure, my oldest friends, no matter where I go, I always manage to find you there. You are very often the welcome wagon for my life transitions. You must have gotten my new address from Anger and Bitterness.

We had quite the ride home together, didn’t we? Fortunately, it was over an hour between leaving the hospital and getting home, so I was mostly able to hide you close to my chest when I greeted Tony at the door. I busied myself making pepper jelly tonight, and that was good, because it quieted you all down to a whisper. But you’re still there.

Look, we have a long and intimate history. I know each of you, and you seem to know me, as well. So its okay if you want to hang out for a little while. You can come in and catch up with me, but I don’t have time to be your long-term hostess right now. I’m trying to make new friends with some of my other neighbors, such as Accomplishment, Contentment, Inspiration, and Dignity. So, please, let me get you a glass of iced tea, but don’t plan on staying too long.

As they say, Visitors, like fish, start to stink after two days.

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