Archive for November, 2020

Missing

November 29, 2020

I have seem to have lost my sense of humor. I know it was just here the other day when I found myself laughing with my family over something silly at the dinning room table. I counted a few laugh out loud moments yesterday when I was trying to improve my mood. I take the lack of laughter in my life as a symptom that I am depressed and do not realize it. I have never been able to force myself to laugh at something I do not find funny. Sometimes a coping skill, like forced laughter, does more damage to one’s sense of self than whatever social capital it affords. My attempt to understand depression and it’s relationship to humor is found in my next letter of the ABC’s of Depression, Letter M. I will include a poem about Divine Laughter to help illuminate my ramblings.

M- is for Maya. Maya is a Vedic word that means illusions. Maya is the feeling of not knowing what anything really is. It is the play of gods on our senses. It is often associated with pain of karmic cycles. Our limited view as mortals creates suffering because we cannot see through God’s eyes. We are in a state of constant change and the destruction of time.  We are avoiding who we are and our destiny by trying to preserve our version of ourselves.

The illusion that life is a monster that is devouring us is part of our creative genius as humans but also keeps us from becoming. It is comical in its absurdity.   I find being caught up in divine laughter can release me from self-concern. Laughter is an act of whole body feeling of amusement. Amusement means to pleasantly hold one’s attention. Divine laughter is to have my whole body amused by the blissfulness of God union.

The Dream

Last night I was laughter.

I was being laughed.

The world was light,

and I shook in lightness,

all concern left

and

I was released in perfect happiness.

I had company all around with whom I knew and loved.

I was playful and without thought.

Today I am different from before.

I am dancing with happiness again.

I feel free and life feels easy.

I thought this day would never come.

But it has and I am here different

Grateful Blessed.     

ooh la la…

November 23, 2020

On my daily walks around my neighborhood I am noticing the exquisite state of winter trees. If you look closely deciduous trees glow after their leaves have dropped. Just like the old wives tale that women have a glow to them when pregnant, trees blush with a secret they can not hide. Here is a poem I wrote about trees in their unveiling.

Winter Tree

I am naked

A bare tree in winter

Reaching in all directions

Stretching out

Releasing what I was

Alone in the forest

I get my strength from sap

That rises in the coldest months

From the deepest part of me

I hold up abandoned nests

Exhausted from life

I stand as a gate

Only wind can pass through

I am asleep

Listening to universal dreams

At peace in stillness

Reviewing the year

Grateful to be done

With growing and blooming

By Angie Alkove

L

November 19, 2020

L- is for Lost. Sometimes depression can come from a series of losses or a long period of being lost. It is the accumulation of confusing moments and eventual succumbing to fear. It is a crushing squeezing out of breath and feeling. I don’t feel myself when I am lost. I feel like I am being extinguished. There is a vulnerability that emanates from me, something animals can smell. A dark sky without stars is disorienting and feels like a weight from above, a never-ending night.

At the time of this posting we are coming out of a new moon and I feel lost and a strong sense of loss. My beautiful daughter will be 18 tomorrow, a big milestone for her and for Jim and me as her parents. The very first step in being a legal adult in this country. Also, it is the first of the last chapter of parenting. Just as at the end of the Presidential election I feel joy and relief that we are almost to a change that is a long time coming. I also feel fear and sadness. I am sad for how much I have had to endure under the last four years as an American and I am fearful of the unknown, how will we go on as a nation with deep wounds still fresh? Now my dear daughter will be stepping up as a full citizen and I am sad that our paths are diverging and fearful that I will not find as much happiness in my day to day life now that mothering is mostly done. My faith is renewed in seeing the wonderful person she is and how much she has to offer the world. I am not so much part of the show anymore but know I will always have one of the best seats right next to her Dad. I pray that she is never lost for very long and never feels life’s losses are too much.

Letter K

November 9, 2020

K- is for knowing. In Hebrew the word, yada, means to know, to have a personal and intimate relationship. Yes, this is yada as in “yada, yada, yada” like in the Seinfeld joke. Here is the link if you have to get it out of your system:https://youtu.be/O6kRqnfsBEc who

But serious people who know depression know it intimately.  Job shows that through suffering we know God. Job brings dignity to suffering by inhabiting it fully. After much dialog with friends and with God Job says, “If only my words were written in a book- better yet, chiseled in stone! Still I know that God lives – the One who gives me back my life- and eventually he’ll take his stand on earth. And I will see him- even though I get skinned alive!- see God myself, with my very own eyes. Oh, how I long for that day!” [1] I see Job finding hope in his despair. He says “God lives” I can find this when I practice gratitude. Brother David Steindl Rast’s teachings on gratitude are wonderful examples of showing how God is alive in everyday moments. I love the idea that you can’t be grateful for everything, but you can always find something to be grateful for. When I take the time to contemplate gratitude I find God is in everything. God is undeniable. The loveliest part of this is that God knows us intimately. God is so deceptively close that She cannot be perceived as separate. Only in moments of Grace can God be sensed.


[1] (Job19: 23-27 The Message The Bible in Contemporary Language)

https://gratefulness.org/