Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summertime Blues, If I May...

Life.  Highs and lows.  Celebration and grief.  Manic and depressive.  I became acquainted with depression very early in life and it is a good thing because it has been my most loyal and constant life companion.  Most of the time I can trick the sadness into leaving me alone, but sometimes it extracts its pound of flesh - like right now.  I stand at the edge of the shadow and sometimes wish I could take a simple leap of faith right into that black hole.  But I never do.  I know from long experience that it is cyclical, and if I am patient, I will emerge full of creative energy and new ideas.  It is merely life, the grind of responsibility, mind-numbing routine, and the sometimes overwhelming realization that I am the same person I have always been.  No matter what, I can never get away from me.  The same faults and flaws I have always had are still right here, cheerfully tagging along like puppies. 

Wind Waves in a Field of Brome
I attempt to photograph the wind through the prairie, but my photography skills are frustratingly limited.  No matter.  The wind sighing through the prairie nourishes my spirit.  The most transcendent moments occur when I am lying on the earth alone, giving myself over to the whistle, whisper or whine through the grass. 

One of the chores I had as a child was to feed the rabbits by gathering alfalfa from the field west of the barn.  It seemed to take a long time to fill the bucket so sometimes I laid down on the soft dirt amid the fragrant plants.  There was always a sky full of white clouds endlessly shape-shifting and the whispers of the wind through the green plants to keep me company.

My favorite place to listen to the wind was the hill behind my grandmother's house across the river.  After my uncle showed me the buffalo wallows atop the hill it became a sacred childhood shrine.  I spent many hours laying alone in the clean and wholesome prairie, listening to the Kansas wind rise and fall through the big bluestem.  The sunlight made me drowsy.  In my memory, it is golden and green.  Sometimes an incandescence blossomed in my consciousness.

I guess what I need most is to find a place to lay down on the earth and listen to the counsel of the Kansas wind. It will not be easy.  First, two stinky, noisy, energetic dogs will have to be prevented from following me.  No one can experience expanded consciousness with slobbering, panting dogs along.  Secondly, I will have to spray myself head to foot against chiggers.  (Was I immune to chiggers as a child, or have I merely forgotten that misery?)   I probably will not be comfortable laying on the ground without a blanket or a towel.  I might worry about a snake or a spider.  It is too hot to lay in the direct sunlight now.  What if someone sees me laying in the pasture and thinks I have had a heart attack?  What if they just think I am crazy?

No wonder I am depressed.

No comments: