The Comfort Of Sleep

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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) 

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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.
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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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I Howl At The Moon

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I howl at the moon and I’m howling at you
I’m wearing the rain and I’m wrapped up in night
Oh I’m singing for stars that are hiding their light
I’m keeping it down and I’m seeing it through

I’m wielding a flame that is flickering white
Burning me deep, every breath is a bite
Feel the heat through miles, I know you do
A need, like a notion, a blue-black devotion so true

I won’t need to tell you, you already knew
I howl at the moon and I’m howling at you

I dig in the dirt and I’m digging for you
Prying under the stones ’til I’m covered in moss
Oh I’m singing to creatures that are born at a loss
I’m keeping it down and I’m seeing it through

I‘m lost in a crystal that glows with each thought
Dazzling me, every movement a fight
Feel the depths that I’m stuck in, I know you do
Taking root, lost to motion,  muddy devotion, like glue

I won’t need to tell you, you already knew
I dig in the dirt and I’m digging for you

I reach for the stars and I’m reaching for you
I’m holding the void and I’m coated in rust
I’m growling for lost bloom and holding my lust
I’m keeping it down and I’m seeing it through

I’m dowsing for water that is gossamer blue
Washing me clean, every drop is my truth
Feel like drowning again, I know you do
A drop like an ocean, a sea green devotion so true

I won’t need to tell you, you already knew
I reach for the stars and I’m reaching for you

I danced in the flames and I’m dancing from you
I’m burning alive and I’m crowned in the bright
Oh I’m singeing my feathers but not giving up flight
I’m keeping it down and I’m seeing it through

I’m clutching an ember that will not go out
And I am transforming, each cell, every bone
Feel the heat through miles, I know you do
Releasing a note,  piercing clearly and true

I won’t need to tell you, you already knew
I danced in the flames and I’m dancing from you

LM 2013 – 2018

* I picked this up again after forgetting about it. Who knows, it may still not be finished.
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Inferno

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INFERNO

Where did all this anger come from
What chasm burst to let it all run spilling forth
Who fed this fire to such a state of raging conflagration
That rain drops scorch and steam upon the earth

Who loosed this red horse spiked for battle
To trample the most tender heart beneath his hooves
What child has cried in pain to fuel this unhindered devastation
While stony backs remained unturned unmoved

Burn it down
Burn it all down to the black
Let the night share the dark with more than stars
Let the moonlight shine along the rivened scars

But let each lash out bring something back
Let each death bring something new
Let each wound be a furrow for a seed
Let bleed what needs to bleed

-LM 2104 – 2018

 

 

Tunnel Vision

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The first few lines of this song popped in my head one night while I was driving. This happens a lot. Sometimes I get on a tear and I have to pull over to write things down. Sometimes using the recorder on my phone is manageable. Other times I have to keep repeating things while I drive and hope I don’t come up with one lie too many and forget it. Tunnel Vision started as a little fragment that grew when I picked it up a few weeks later. Then I tucked it away and forgot about it. I came across it recently and fleshed it out.
I haven’t got someone to work out the music with but I do have a working melody, but it’s not easy for me to sing right now so I’ll wait to record it. My voice sounds alien to me. I suffer from a condition called vasomotor rhinitis and it has made it nearly impossible for me to sing for several months. Sometimes I can’t even croak out an octave. 
I suppose a lot of my stuff is moody, brooding or gloomy. Intense things just tend to inspire me more. And usually, words just pop into my head, like this one. I didn’t set out to write a song about an obsessive or smothering relationship. I think there are parts of this that are rooted in a relationship I had no business attempting but it sparked a lot of creative work and I can’t complain about that! The song does end on a hopeful note, swapping someone else’s narrow vision for the wide, clear, free expanse of blue sky. Yes, there’s a metaphor there. There’s a lot of symbolism in this song for you to work out in a way that’s meaningful to you someday. 

TUNNEL VISION

You are the intersection where my heart stopped
You are the course correction that fucked me up
Here stops my heart and it can go no further
Can’t veer off the road or make evasive maneuvers

All my gears are frozen still you set me spinning
And sorting through the sticks and stones is so confusing
You feel like an ending that is just beginning and it’s going to drag on

The sun is sinking deep into a panoramic blue
Visual dominion  holds my gaze like glue
Your own spectacular tunnel vision
The tunnel is wide
That tunnel is wide
And I can’t see through to the other side

You are the lake that iced with me half under
You are the sound at night that makes me shudder
Desperately lost and I can go no further
If my bones are never found who will avenge my murder
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The Healing Powers of Mud

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Here is a piece that I was sure I had posted but I guess I missed it. If you have gone through trauma sometimes you need to get dirty and muck around in it, sift through for what’s valuable and rinse off the things you are ready to let go of. Everyone heals differently. We all have our own unique process. There’s no correct answer. I have always liked that line from Peter Gabriel’s, Digging in the Dirt, “I’m digging in the dirt, To find the places I got hurt, Open up the places I got hurt” In some ways this is a similar sentiment. This one has some spots that need refining, perhaps, but I’m ok with it for now.
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The Healing Powers of Mud

So let us sift through the past and see what breaks
What holds up and how much pain it takes
Make an inventory of the seeds that were sewn
Make a basket from the weeds
Then set fire to it with the sun

Let us mourn the childhood that lies buried in the deep
Not too loud because memory’s asleep
Don’t try to breathe like fishes gasping in snow
When the dams commit to breaking
There’ll be nowhere left to go

No secret corners where the truth resides
Where wounds can fester deep within your hide
Songs spit out from the heart of the moon
Words you choked, flying feathers on the wind
The perfume of fear lingers in the air

Are your raging rivers sanctified, careful what you drown
Are you a swimmer, is the pain going down
Desperately sifting for remnants in the sludge
Don’t be afraid to stick your fingers in
There is magic in the mud

LM 2014

Thought Soup

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THOUGHT SOUP

Pensive to the point of inertia
Still
Slowly air moves in and out
Lips remain silent
Thoughts bound up in themselves
Words
Movement
Being
Seem impossible
Until some resolution
Finds its way through the muck
Surfaces
Acts
Puts in motion
Thoughts
That started as seeds
Then tangled in their own roots
For a while
Before bursting forth
That is a moment
A place in mind
I frequent these days
Deep, thick, tangled thoughts
Fermenting in
An emotional broth
Nutrient rich
Slowly stirred
Simmered
Usually just until it’s ready
But sometimes
Boiling over

LM 2015

Tidal

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TIDAL

You slip in and out of my mind like the tide
Teasing and tugging the water back to the sea
A ghost climbing in a window then slipping out the back door

Sometimes you sit on my breath, hanging there
An icicle considering the thaw
Much like the way that I used to melt kitten-like in your lap
As I still long to do, but nothing’s to be done for it now

Going back would be like falling down stairs
It might break every bit of me

Standing still is freezing, burning
I haven’t the patience to be statuary
Marking time in some corner of the garden where the spiders spin and the leaves pile from neglect.

Going forward is a beast unknown
Or perhaps it is a birdsong
Ringing out the perimeters of it’s territory
Bursting with hope

I can long for it but it will come to its conclusion on its own schedule
There’s no point in pushing

I can wait here clutching your valentine in my lap
One fist clenched under my pillow
Full of desire and lament and pages unread

But I will also go on about my business
Like falling snow, migrating birds and commuter trains
My will in my pocket
My heart full of fire, feathers and pocket watch springs

I am breathing you in and out of my thoughts
Like the universe expanding and collapsing in on itself

Knowing that it could be really horrible. if you drag me backward
Yet really nice if you catch up to me someday
Matching me step for step

I know when I drop my hand in your direction
Our fingers will interlock with ease
It will feel familiar and comforting like a child’s paper snowflake
And yet delightfully new, minted, full of anticipation.

Fate lay in the curve of our bodies
Their automatic inclinations towards each other

But you said you don’t believe in fate
If you are so quick to dismiss it, why so wary
Fate is way more patient than I

And will give you many chances
To pull the curtains open on the day
To turn the key in the door
To find beauty in the truth

To see your fear suddenly, as only
A small hamster addicted to turning a wheel

Fate has handed you a compass
A map to the labyrinth
So you can find me

Wherever I may be, whatever state I am in
Whether I am waiting or running or holding my breath
Because I just want to hold the thought of you in my mouth
For one more minute

Whether I am pushing you out
Or letting you in

-LM 2013/2015