Thursday, July 30, 2015

Heart Rocks.

Stella, 2009
When I was a younger girl, and my family would go to the Maine or Massachusetts shoreline (the beach), my mom would always find heart-shaped rocks and show them to me.  She would keep one, and I would find one of my own and keep it too.  Since then I have never been to a beach, where I didn't look for the one heart-shaped rock that I would slip into my beach bag and put on a shelf or in a basket in my house.  The twins find them now, too, so we have many beach rocks throughout the house, still hiding in beach bags full of plastic beach toys covered in sand, that we'll forget to empty out, until next year.

We have a "rock garden" full of beach rocks.  Michael likes to find ones that have interesting geological features, not focusing on shape.  On Easter, we looked for egg-shaped rocks on the beach, and Stella has always partial to the perfectly rounded ones.  I find my heart on the beach each year.  It doesn't have to be perfectly shaped.  I just know when I've found the right one.

I don't give them away, usually.  I show them to the kids, then put it in my pocket or my bag.  I don't give my heart rocks away.  Maybe I keep them because of the childhood memories; I don't know.  When I find the right one--the one that is smooth under my fingertips, and has a divot or wedge on one end, and a rounded, soft, point on the other--I can't put it back on the beach.  It feels like I'm going to miss it, if I throw back my heart, into the water, or to let it fall and scatter among the piles of rocks at the high tide line of the sand.  I'll miss my heart rock.  Nature made them, not me.  They formed all on their own.  They don't belong to me, I guess, but they feel so much like they do.

I think when our heart is touched by someone deeply, or times in our lives pass far too quickly, we miss our hearts as much as we miss those people and those moments... when they are gone...  I mean.

 It feels like it slipped from my fingers, into the vast waters of the Atlantic.  The foamy surf quickly comes along and you can't see it anymore... and it's pushed along with the waves.  And your chest aches, yeah? Even if there are hundreds of heart rocks, in jars, and in rock gardens, and on shelves, around me, I'll miss the ones that fell out of my hand.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lay Down.

Lay down, lay down, lay it all down
Let your white birds smile
At the ones who stand and frown

What is sadness?  Is it different for all people?  Is it darkness?  Yeah... I know saddness.  I don't need someone to tell me what it's all about.  I know it.

For some people it's a deep and biting emotion that rips them apart; for others, it's a cause for tears, yet a hope for something better;  It can mean empathy; It can mean sympathy.  For me, it's emptiness.  It's nothing.  It's nothingness. It's apathy.  It's not even a feeling; it's an absence of feeling.  

I'd rather cry for all the good reasons.  I'd rather cry when there is reason to mourn.  I'd rather cry and feel pain, when there is cause for sadness... Because fading into numbness is like being inhuman.  It makes me feel less human.  Emotions are human.  I want to feel everything, even if it's pain.

And what excuse do I have for my numbness and fucked up head, anyway? 

I always want blame PMDD.  It is easy to use as a label: I have PMDD, so I'm fucking sad, or numb, or a bitch sometimes. But, deep down, I don't like excuses.  I don't like labels.  Depression isn't a death sentence. I've always known this.  Why is PMDD different?  There are some things that help people, even if they are drastic.  I could get my insides taken out... all the reproductive organs.  That's the last line of treatment.  Nothing else has worked yet.  I'm scared to go through menopause when I feel like I'm still a kid.  I'm not so old.  I know I am, but I don't feel it.

And I want to know the why and how, and not just accept things as they are and "how they will always be." Why can't I just meditate PMDD out of my body and brain?  Why can't I stop thinking about it, and then have it just go away?  I don't know... It always helped to know when it would start, and when it would end.  It was a way to prepare myself and then know relief was on the way.  I've actually tried ignoring the calendar and just wishing it away, or wishing it would not be this day or that day, but it didn't work.  It's not a placebo effect.  I wish it were.  

We were so close, there was no room
We bled inside each other's wounds
We all had caught the same disease
And we all sang the songs of peace

And I'm in darkness, now.  I let stress trigger worse symptoms and bring me lower and darker.  Am I weak for letting a person bring me to this place, and take so much away from me?  I am black against the night. The rain is soaking my hair and permeating my skin.  My candle...

I spent a life of caring about people and humanity and the world, and then I stopped caring about anything. All I wanted to do was help people.  That was why I wanted to be a teacher.  I would never work in a field that wasn't helping people in a significant way.  Now I do nothing.  It all came crashing down around me and I stopped feeling angry, or sad.  I just stopped feeling.

So raise candles high
'Cause if you don't we could stay black against the night
Oh, raise them higher again
And if you do we could stay dry against the rain

Melanie's voice has this tremble, and roughness as the song progresses... and there is sadness that penetrates my thoughts. She sounds sad, but hopeful.  She asks us to raise our lights high...  to do what you can to not fade into darkness.  She wrote the song after performing at Woodstock, seeing the sea of candles in the crowds, and because in 1969 she and her peers were amongst the horror and quagmire that was the Vietnam War.  

I haven't written a blog about a controversial war in a foreign country.  Why am I using Melanie's song to ground my post?  I don't know.  I don't know.  I've listened to it a lot lately.  Maybe I'm writing about internal wars, within ourselves. When I hear the song, I think:  Don't be like me! Don't make your story my story.  Rewrite a beautiful story, and know something else is out there, and this can't be it.  This can't be it. There is a cure for all that is hurting and damaging you now.  Darkness is lit with light.  Of course.  

We were so close, there was no room
We bled inside each other's wounds
We all had caught the same disease
And we all sang the songs of peace

Some came to sing, some came to pray
Some came to keep the dark away

So raise candles high
'Cause if you don't we could stay black against the sky
Oh, oh, raise them higher again
And if you do we could stay dry against the rain

I don't want to stay black against the sky.  I don't want to be drenched in novicaine and denial.  I don't want to hide behind a numbness that is comfortable and easy for me to fall into.  It's my well.  I sit and cover my face.  I don't even have a candle down there.  The lack of oxygen would not allow it to light.  I would need to raise it up, as far as I could reach and hope the flame stayed burning and someone would see it in the darkness of the pit that is depression.  



Lay down, lay down, lay it all down
Let your white birds smile
At the ones who stand and frown
Lay down, lay down, lay it all down
Let your white birds smile
At the ones who stand and frown