I step inside Mrs. Dalloway’s mind:
it twists, turns – I’m lost in the maze,
as she spills thoughts on the page –
a link to her consciousness;
it’s a stream that overflows,
breaks embankments, floods my psyche
‘till I put the book down,
lest my mind goes manic and
doesn’t come back.
(Photo credit: A portrait photo of Virginia Woolf from Britannica.com).
Note: This poem was inspired by Mrs. Dalloway, the classic novel by Virginia Woolf. I’m reading it now, and I love it, but I’ve had to put it down a couple of times because I felt like it was triggering a manic episode.
Here we are, nearly four months into the pandemic. The whole thing has been a very strange experience, for all us. It’s been a shared experience across the planet, though some countries have managed it better than others. I’m learning that the ability to adapt is so important.
Depression is like draining the color from all
perception, until you see complete darkness –
like becoming blind in an instant, and having
to rely on the other four senses to navigate
a harsh landscape. It appears without warning,
as if you’re traveling on a frozen lake and the
ice gives way – you sink into the water, you cry,
you flail your arms – but all you can do is stay
afloat until the sun appears again and
(Photo by Collin Hardy on Unsplash)
Today is a sad day for me, but I’m also feeling hopeful. This marks the second Father’s Day since my dad passed away. In fact, tomorrow will mark the second anniversary of the day he passed. My life irrevocably changed that day on June 22, 2018, but I feel that my grief journey has gotten lighter.
The end is closer than we think,
the wild-eyed prophet says.
He, who has spent time in psych wards,
sees visions of hellfire at corner stores.
What are these images of demons and flashes of inspiration?
I’m angry and I’m upset. The past few days I’ve sunk into a depression, mixed with bursts of anger. A lot of it has to do with self-isolation. Some of it has to do with bipolar symptoms. However, a lot of it has to do with what’s going on in America right now.
“We all have to think if we can become a little poorer, all of us have to do this. How can I become a little poorer to be more like Jesus, who was the poor Teacher?” – attributed to Pope Francis.
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – commonly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. I love this quote and have actually posted it on the wall in our home office. Like many, I can be very impatient, and this quote reminds me that good things come in time – often in God’s time, not mine.
I confuse myself sometimes. I long for peace and quiet, for love and compassion. Yet, there’s that part of me that’s also drawn to darkness, to morbidity, gothic stories, horror movies. I’ve noticed this more about myself since I’ve been in recovery and I’ve done intensive psychotherapy.
My emotions have been very much affected by the 24-hour news cycle during the pandemic. The news has been grim – in America, there are constant updates about record unemployment, nasty protests, and the various insults hurled by politicians at each other. Yesterday, I asked myself, is peace possible during all this turmoil?