|Michael Leunig. |
Posted on the Michael Leunig Appreciation Facebook Page 12/04/2014
It's been a low, tough day today.
A friend of mine commented once that if you have a cold, there's no doubt that staying in bed is a valid response.
I, however, end a day when my body has felt so heavy I couldn't lift it out of bed for most of the day, wracked with guilt and self-derision.
I didn't go for a walk, which I know would have helped, and I know helpful voices would have told me to do.
I didn't talk to anyone, which may have helped, and helpful voices will tell me I should have done.
I forgot to pick up my mortar board for graduation monday. Here's hoping I can do that first thing on the day.
I've only just got the last few things for tomorrow's worship gathering organised, emails sent that might have been sent earlier in the day.
Nothing earth shatteringly bad. Nothing unforgivable.
Yet I feel as though staying in bed was not a valid choice to make today.
I feel as though depressed is not a valid state to be in. Not a valid response to life. If indeed it has come back in response to life, not as a natural flow following a natural ebb in the rhythm of the illness.
I did not expect it to be this bad, this challenging, such an invitation for the black dog to awaken, when I shaved my head on Ash Wednesday. If I had, would I have done it? Perhaps. I might have prepared myself better, though; might have braced myself instead of assuming I would be OK because I was well when I entered the experience.
Of course it's not the only thing happening, though not everything else is fruit for discussion in this space. Enough to say that one challenge on its own would be enough, but there are a couple bumping into each other, and knocking the sleeping dog, who then stirs.
And when you face a challenge in the present you inevitably also awaken ghosts of former challenges, and they often make a noise that disturbs the dog you want to keep sleeping, but twitches with interest.
So it is that today, mostly, I slept. or wept. And wrote a poem. naturally.
and despite all efforts,
all resting and sunshine,
all talking and walking and gentleness,
the beast in the corner
still wakes, stretches, yawns -
pinning you down
beneath his hairy black paws
breathing his moist heat in your face
cocking his head in expectation
will this time be
or can you rally yourself –