Incubation

December 24, 2020

A wonderful part of having a writing practice is the part where ideas brew deep in my subconscious. I call this stage incubation and it has the rejuvenation qualities of hibernation. I recognize when other writers are incubating because they look happy and attentive. Ideas are proprietary and they are developing at their natural pace. Writing Horse Writing Studio honors the grace of incubating new work and wishes you and yours a very merry Christmas!

Now We’ve Said Our ABC’s…

December 22, 2020

I woke this morning to slow light outlining the large evergreen trees crowning the South-East reach of Penn Cove everything glistened from the dew that had turned to frost. Nature’s majesty all a splendor. I went to bed with a serious doubt that I would not get a good night’s rest and miraculously the next thing I remember is waking to sunrise on the lagoon outside my little cabin. The morning was completely its Self, not part of a greater day to be experienced just Morning in its essence, round and full and I adhered to it with everyone and everything. Here we are full circle. Thank you for joining me in my healing journey through depression.

Z

Z is for Zero. Zero is traditionally meant to be the digit 0 that represents the lowest possible amount. The Urban Dictionary shares that Zero is also used to refer to a worthless person. Zero comes before everything else. It is associated with the ground. Ground zero is a starting over point. It is ultimate humility. Depression can be a leveling experience. It is something you can only survive. It is akin to emptying out all that we are holding. When we are empty one can see the light of day and disappear again each night.

December 21, 2020

Yearning for the days…

December 21, 2020

Y- is for Yearning. When I am depressed, I feel a type of loneliness that pervades my body and manifests as yearning. A generalized feeling of neediness that is not specific to any one thing, person, or outcome. I just know that I am dangerously low of critical nourishment. Yearning has an urgent quality that can help attune me to Grace. This tuning happens when my ego allows yearning to direct my search for happiness. Yearning comes from the wounds of love; or as David Whyte remarks as the necessary heartbreak of a life well lived. Yearning might be destiny calling me back to the path where I walk with God.

New Love, Old Love

There is a part of me that wants this new love to be everything, to crowd out the world like it did before, to be the black carpet of night sky in which fireworks play.

It was in steamed windows of borrowed cars,

Myopic eroticism fueled by the momentum of stars

And dreams of freedom.

But now everything points to you, the joy of finding new pathways in this orbit we have created, deepened by the fragility of impermanence,

I find myself peacefully lifted and comforted by the pull of possibility.

Our freedom has always been in the choosing, not to stay or to leave,

But to feel and be felt.

Pema and Xena

December 19, 2020

X is for Xenia- Xenia is the concept of hospitality to strangers in Greek Mythology. Depression can feel like a stranger at your door. In Homer’s The Odyssey Xenia is a powerful phenomenon that propels Odysseus through his journey. In ancient Greece the stranger archetype was associated with divine mystery and good luck. In contrast the stranger in today’s world is often feared and thought of as a threat. There seems to be no middle ground when Xenia is represented in culture. Pema Chodron wrote a book called The Places that Scare You. In this book she writes that one always has the choice on how to respond to fear. You can let it harden you or let it soften and open your heart. Difficult circumstances can be transformative if you are able to consider the unknown as an angel in disguise instead of a ghost from the past.

https://www.shambhala.com/the-places-that-scare-you-1171.html

Wonderlust

December 18, 2020
image from: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was released in theaters in North America on December 9, 2005.

Do you have any wonderlust left? I find wonder is the last thing to go in times of crisis. Do whatever you can to keep wonder alive. Tell stories, play tricks, risk humiliation living out your wacky dreams it is vitally important to your soul’s survival. For me nothing does the trick like good old fashion daydreaming. Wonder is not a renewable resource, you have to go out and get it participate in its creation!

W – is for Woe. The saying “Woe is me” is one of the oldest sayings. It was written in the book of Job about 3,200 years ago and is also mentioned in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, it is a saying that needs no explanation. It is an utterance that comes from desperation. A feeling of woe is all consuming dread. Woe is onomatopoeia or echo mimetic, a word that needs no translation; it is a word that sounds like the expression of a feeling. Somewhat like “scream”. In order to say the word you also mimic the action. Woe is the opposite of wow.  Wow is an expanding word the more you say it and the more energy you give it; it celebrates awe and attraction. When woe is used like a mantra “woe is me” it makes one smaller by constricting movement and disassociating with others. The word woe comes from fearing what has already happened to you, so that you live in the past assuming the worst and positioning yourself to experience negativity again. It works like dread. Dread is to experience pain before it happens. People who are depressed are acting out this ancient drama of the doomed character that has lost the faculty of imagination.

Letter V

December 17, 2020
Chalkboard Art By Mr Sussman Tucson Waldorf School

V -is for Violence. When I am depressed life feels violent. The very act of living is a battle. It takes great strength to breathe, to get out of bed. There are demons in every corner. Overwhelming fear makes me think that it would be easier to let the demons have me. It would be quicker for the demons to have me than fight a losing battle and here is where the violence turns inward. I remember as a small child pretending to be dead, being dead had to be easier than living. The biggest fear was that if God thought I was dead then I would be taken away. I have learned to compromise, to talk to the demons and recognize their primitive desires and negotiate. Here is an example:

Demon: “You are worthless, you should die”

Me: “That doesn’t make sense, I have a good life.”

Demon: “You are not listening to me!”

Me: “Ok, I realize the avoidance of death is not hospitable, maybe there is something I can let die? I can let some beliefs die or stories I tell that keep me from growing and accepting life.”

Demon: “I am glad she took up the sword, the path is clear now, she can move on”

Undone

December 16, 2020

U is for Undone.

There is something I am avoiding about this letter. In past drafts I have forgotten to write an entry for “U” and people would ask “What about U?” and I would hear “What about you?” I would get defensive as say “what about me?” I ended up being ok with not having an answer to either question. I left a blank space to fill for later. It is now later and I will answer the “what about you?” question. I am undone and unfinished, and it really bothers me, but the Universe is also undone and unfinished and some say there is no difference between the Universe and our self. In Michael Meade’s podcast for Solstice, he speaks about the ancient saying “As above, so below” and I wonder how it might explain the mystery of knowing and not knowing all at the same time. Where one incantation ends the next one begins. I wrote a poem about the feeling of seeing something undone.

Undone

A favorite cassette tape

Its brown translucent film

Caught mid-song

Piles up

Both ends still thread through

Capstan and pinch

Undone.

https://www.mosaicvoices.org/episode-206-bringing-back-the-light

T is for Treasure

December 15, 2020
Queen Of Sheba
Visit Harmonia Rosales website: https://www.harmoniarosales.com/

T

T is for Treasure. Treasure is often obscured, hidden buried deep down in an out of the way place. There is a superstition that breaking a mirror brings seven years of bad luck. When a mirror is broken you metaphorically cannot see your own beauty or have a map to guide you to treasures hidden inside yourself. When I am depressed I feel my mirror to the world is broken and I don’t exist. Depression is an act of denying beauty, closing oneself off, not allowing light to be seen. True Beauty is not reflected light, it is light that is magnified by being open and accepting. Be the mirror that magnifies light, disregard illusory reflected light. Just look at the world in this moment and reality will shine through you and guide you.

The Crux

December 14, 2020

Letter S is the crux, it is the hardest part to share. Please keep reading, you will have your own unique response, maybe it will be confusion, embarrassment or maybe you will laugh at the absurdity. Whatever your response, it is yours and there is no reason for fear. Ideas are not contagious you choose how much power a thought can have over your life. I hope your response stretches your capacity for compassion first for yourself and then to the world.

Earth

S

S- is for Suicide. For me depression and suicidal thoughts have always gone hand in hand. Not until recently did I realize suicide and depression are not synonymous, how one can commit suicide and not be depressed and one could be depressed and not be suicidal. I remember the first time I realized I could make myself sick from indulging in melancholy. I was 13 years old and I felt I had been rejected by the love of my life. I pitied myself and decided to feel very sorry for myself. I walked the .4 mile to a gas station and bought an unhealthy amount of candy, several packages of Reese’s cups and a grape taffy called Bonkers.  I came home from the gas station and locked my bedroom door and wept until I was exhausted, gorged myself on candy and danced wildly around my bedroom to a cassette tape of UB40. Swirling and jumping, thrashing my arms to “Red, Red, Wine”. The room was dark and I stayed dancing until it was dark outside. I did not come out until the next day. After that day I was in a depression I could not get out of, I felt worthless and wanted to die. I felt shame that up until that moment felt like embarrassment and vulnerability. Reinforcing the problem of my melancholy was a desire to be loved and not recognizing love around me. I thought if I was sad enough and embraced the negative feeling of being rejected help would come. Hope died for me that day. And after that I knew I had the power to destroy a part of or all of myself.