Thursday, January 28, 2010
The Black Dog
Is my value - my self-calculated value - to me, in spite of all my self-esteem boosting practices over the years, still liable to be smashed without warning? Why can’t I move on, and quickly, when casual meetings go sour, trivial conversations go south, and the merest dismissive flick of a stranger’s eye can cause a few hours worth of critical self-evaluation?
I see. This is depression, the Black Dog pacing up and down the hall waiting to come into the room. And, as always, I brood on all the human beings on this planet who are worse off than me, the Haitians, the chockfull cancer wards, and I feel worse. Where did anyone ever get the idea that thinking of those who would trade lives with me in a blink would automatically cheer me up?
I rarely write about it anymore. As it is that infrequent. But sometimes the moon is just right, the tides just so, and I get the urge to go outside and do a spot of baying. I resist it, of course. I used to cover pages and pages, book upon book, with the depresso-ramblings of the compulsive. Never to be shared. Every single journal packed up in Toronto and shipped to me here. Stacked like deadweight in a corner of a guestroom, like the corpses of small animals. I should bury them. They are beyond decay and more into a state of mummification now. But I can’t.
For picking one up, randomly, reminds me forcefully that whatever depths of despair I may be in at the moment (Howard Zinn dead. A SOTU that was laughable. a prorogued Canadian parliament ducking awkward electorate questions and appointing political favourites to the Senate, an economy worsening by the minute, a blog meeting gone sideways) it is as nothing to the way I was then.