I soon found myself teetering on the edge of a deep depression-hole, listening intently to the siren song wafting up from below. Each note resonated more deeply than the last, snaking around me like an enchanted silver rope, tugging gently. Entranced, I sat down and dangled one foot over the rim and then the other, tentatively, delicately at first. Then, kicking at the air with more enthusiasm, I pushed back against the ground and let myself drop over.
It’s comfortable down here. The music drowns out most of the thoughts that led me to the edge in the first place. The embrace of the mossy surface is warm and familiar. Blue walls softly glowing diffuse the dark. It doesn’t matter that are no stars above to navigate a course, because there’s no need to go anywhere. The lack of air doesn’t concern me because there’s no need to breathe. The song invites me to let my lids drift down. There’s less to fear in my dreams. Sleep is all that matters.
I’ll sleep as long as it will let me. Actual sleep, not the sleep of the dead; nor the waking somnolence of the world above. I shall be a bear; sleeping a resting sleep, peacefully dormant, my head down, all of my bones in alignment; my body still but for the soft woosh of breath. I will weave a blanket of dreaming sleep, the sleep of escape. I’ll languish, that I might yet rejuvenate, to climb out of this pit, my little nest, ready to fight.
In this moment, I am lulled by the song. I cannot move. I cannot eat. My thoughts are still. For now, I sleep.
Depression is a THING for many of us. We all have different ways of, hopefully, coping and surviving. Writing is one of my ways. I wrote a lot last year, but was too depressed to post it. Sleeping is another coping mechanism. This year, I’ve been sleeping a lot. I haven’t been able to work, which means there is little else to do but worry, be hungry, sleep and read.
I’ve experienced a lot of trials in my life which have resulted in an endless wrestling match with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My depression has always been resistant to medication because it’s largely situational and due to things I cannot control like job loss, homelessness, illness, abuse and poverty. Sarcasm helps, humor is a brilliant tool and finding joy here and there throws spite arrows that bite and sting morosity, keeping it at bay for a while. I’m always struggling, however, and eventually, I get worn down enough that my barriers break. Depression roars in like a rogue elephant, careening down the streets of my brain, trumpeting destruction, flipping neurons and stomping on hope with its mighty feet.
Sleeping is good. Retreat is good. As long as the escape really does result in rejuvenation. Our nation was asleep and that has gave us more and more serious things to get depressed about. The temptation to go back to sleep is really tempting. The reality is, if we don’t deal with depression, the unfairness of the world, the destruction of the environment, the greed and the vicious bullying at all, it will only become less and less manageable. Finding a balance is key. Let yourself sleep when you are tired. Whatever you are battling will still be there when you get up. Just make sure you get up, even if you don’t feel like it. Rejuvenate, then get up and fight again.
Looking for images to put with these blogs can be almost as daunting as trying to guess what tags will find readers. This time I was searching for various things related to sleep, caves, abysses, hibernation) I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I came across before finding that perfect bear above:
By the way, the bear photo is from this interesting Time article about whether or not bears truly hibernate. (Spoiler; they probably don’t)
I went down a rabbit hole reading about the cave homes, history and evolution of the Italian city of Matera, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. This New Yorker article in particular is a good read!
This gif of awesome popped up in the header of a review about an intriguing book series about lesbian pirates. I could watch it all day! I may have to check out these books though my reading list is extremely bloated.
I also found this fascinating SLATE blog about sleep called, The Drift. As a hopeless insomniac (yes, I know this seems ironic since I can also sleep for days once I finally do fall asleep) I am going to enjoy digging into this!
I almost used this one (left) of a girl about to stroll off a cliff, which Slate’s blog above, modified. I just really liked it! I didn’t consider the man with a briefcase, but he amused me. While I was stumbling around I found another amusing WordPress writing blog, Lion Around Writing with a nifty little piece about an abyss.
And then things got odd. I ended up with a couple of photos of old, b&w film actresses because of the keywords. This still of Mary Boland from 1915’s lost silent film, The Edge Of The Abyss just struck me. Her face is so lovely and soft, yet her gaze is so firm and direct. This was her film debut.
From IMDB: “Lively, buxom character actress Mary Boland made a name for herself playing vacuous or pixelated motherly types during the 1930’s. One of her most memorable performances was as the addle-brained Mrs. Rimplegar of Three Cornered Moon (1933), who gives away her family fortune to a swindler because he seemed like ‘such a nice young man’. She also made a series of popular homespun comedies under contract to Paramount, in which she co-starred opposite Charles Ruggles. She was notable as a social snob in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), the oversexed and alcoholic Countess DeLave in The Women (1939) and as Mrs.Bennett in MGM’s classic Pride and Prejudice (1940). For all her scatty or matronly character roles in the movies, Mary Boland had once been a star comedienne on Broadway.” (The original ’39, The Women, by the way, is worth a watch. I believe Netflix has it on DVD.)
I guess the 1915 bit linked some photos of the ridiculously lovely, Ann Sheridan, who was born in 1915. She had the amazing ability to go from a simple, fresh faced girl next door to drop dead, worldly glamour. She was in many films and could sing beautifully as well. Her career spanned more than 30 years, right up until her death. She was only 51 when she died of cancer. HERE is a list of Ann Sheridan films.
That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll try to post some of my backlog from 2018 and some new stuff this year, if I can stay awake.