22 November 2009
18 November 2009
17 November 2009
16 November 2009
I remember reading Jane Kenyon's poems at one of the worst points in my depression. Her collection "Constance" sat on my bedside table and I read it over and over and over again. She described the pain and anguish I was feeling better than anyone (save Sylvia Plath) I'd ever read. The words in this piece, from "Having It Out With Melancholy," pressed against my pain like a tourniquet, making it surge before it dwindled:
5. ONCE THERE WAS LIGHT
Once, in my early thirties, I saw
that I was a speck of light in the great
river of light that undulates through time.
I was floating with the whole
human family. We were all colors -- those
who are living now, those who have died,
those who are not yet born. For a few
moments I floated, completely calm,
and I no longer hated having to exist.
Like a crow who smells hot blood
you came flying to pull me out
of the glowing stream.
"I'll hold you up. I never let my dear
ones drown!" After that, I wept for days.
I read these poems now, the poems that pinpointed my agony, made me feel less alone, brought on wave after wave of uncontrollable tears, and they're like memories of a battle. They're the stories you tell about a scar.
I still feel as though I'm floating now. The days are flowing by, but for once, I don't feel disconnected, adrift, aimless. There's no one, no malevolent thing, to snatch me out of the light. The fear has faded, the panic is gone.