the simple minded suburbanite


Emmy Lou, Guru. Two.
July 25, 2011, 8:00 am
Filed under: authenticity, suburbanite, voluntary simplicity | Tags: ,

“I just figured feeling low is a natural state of being.”

I gather strength and inspiration from everywhere.  I forget most of it but, writing helps me cement some lessons in my brain.  I had slipped my Espadrills off my bare, not so manicured feet, and tapped them on the dampened grass.  I was surrounded by the lushness of the gardens and the damp scent of bodies sweating and pulsing to the rising voice that was Emmy Lou Harris.  In true story-teller fashion, she spoke of how she came back to writing songs and described the time in her life she penned the one to follow.  “It was a very low time of my life,” she said, “but, I didn’t take a pill (guitar thrum).  I figured, feeling low is a natural state of being.”

I’ve been depressed.  Lately.  So much so and for no apparent reason that, pillow to pillow, I declared to my husband that I was most certainly depressed, suffering a laundry list of classic symptoms from persistent tightness in my chest to anxiety.  The thought of cooking a meal, what I used to view as a creative outlet, stifles me.  I had a flickering vision of grabbing the dog around the throat as she incessantly barked from the front window, thus shattering the peaceful morning I desperately needed with coffee and book.  For the first time, though I’ve felt low plenty of times in my life before, I feel helpless.  A first for me, being one who likes a good fight and takes life’s challenges with gloves on.

I must be wired this way, I thought.  Nothing I do makes a difference and barring any major life changes, I’m out of options.  Will I ever really, truly, deeply be happy?  These are not easy thoughts to have while surrounded by younger, incessantly smiling, bikini-clad mommies effortlessly chasing toddlers around the neighborhood pool.  These are not easy feelings to have while surrounded by the next, best summer vacation to Fiji or Wyoming or San Francisco.  This is not easy to be when your children rise with the sun and greet you with the polite demands of a loving, well-guided life.

“…a natural state of being.”  Of course.  It called to mind many readings I had ingested stating things like, “Be careful to cast out your devils, lest you cast out the best parts of yourself.” (Nietzsche?)  “You’ll never find the land that lives within without agreeing to lose site of the shore,” or something like that.  Shadow places, anything by Carl Jung.  Women Who Dance with the Wolves, Estes.  And many, many more.  The darkness is a welcome to be with your soul.

Until saw Emmy Lou, I had nearly forgot.  Forgot to be still and listen and be with my feelings, be with myself and hear what I am trying to say to myself.  Not fight it.  Not deny it.  Not drown it.  It’s only natural.

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