Last week the power supply on my work computer went out, & I had to use another computer that lacked the full panoply of software I use on a daily basis, until IT got a replacement power supply & my regular computer was up & running.
Turns out that “burnt out power supply” is a pretty good metaphor for where I’ve been personally these past few weeks.
Actually, longer. One sign is the neglect I’ve given to Henkimaa, what with the vast responsibilities to Bent Alaska, of which I am editor & chief contributor. And even Bent has been suffering from lack of attention lately, as the power supply has been sputtering out.
Okay, I’ve written about this before, dammit. I have a fairly lifelong history of what, for convenience sake, I’ve referred to as “depression.” I’ve been moving back away from that term because its narrow & distorted use in psychiatry has entered too far into the public realm (leading generally to people always wanting to push drugs on me). Therefore, I have my own terms for different states of what I experience — the pit or black hole, which is the worst state, a state of despair; the grey, functional but dead inside, hence still highly unpleasant; the cave. The cave can have days of grey in in, but it’s not in itself “bad” per se: it’s when I little will or desire to communicate, at least in any written form. Everything’s directed inward.
In the past month I’ve gone through a series of greys — three of them — some tinged with the cast of the pit, and most of it surrounded by the cave.
Something’s begging for my attention. I’m pretty sure it’s me.
This past Saturday, I figured it would do better to get sorted than to let things go unaddressed & continue the series of greys. I reckon the cave is because I need that internal time to evaluate & reevaluate stuff. I’m in the midst of some sort of sea change, at the nexus, at the crossroads. So, back to sources. I’m sitting down with the gods again, my own little internal pantheon, to do that.
I’ve found so far that if I pay attention to this work, it keeps the grey (&, more importantly, the pit) in abeyance. Especially if I also pay attention to another important piece, which I first learned backwhen from people in Twelve Step programs: HALT, an acronym for hungry, angry, lonely, tired — eat right, get enough rest, don’t “isolate,” don’t blow a gasket.
But also I find that if it’s a cave I’m in, “not bad, per se,” there’s a good chance that the roil & clamor of everything feeding into the grey could feed some really huge good stuff instead — especially if I’m talking with the gods.
Sea change…nexus…crossroads… whatever. Crossroads conveys in an image the sense of many things coming in at once, a confluence of roads roads feeding in, many potential routes out, from which I must pick what I’ll actually be tracking down. A quote I like that I found some years ago in one of my important books (Trickster Makes This World by Lewis Hyde):
The bottom of the mind is paved with crossroads. — Paul Valéry
I learned some many years ago, when I first learned how to really sit down with the gods, sometimes as below / so above. That is, the movements within me arising from my deep metaphorical considerations with the gods down in the bottom of my mind, are more often than not matched by positive movements in this Real World of consensual reality that we all share — in all manners of ways, personal to me as well as of a wider reach.
And who in hell do I mean by the gods? More detail on that later. For now, suffice it to say that they’re my source, like the groundwater that feeds Chester Creek, up there in that photo I took Saturday on my way home from figuring some of this stuff out. And they live within me, in the place called Henkimaa, of which this blog is, sort of, a representation. Writing here is part & parcel of heeding that stuff that’s been begging for my attention.
So I’ll be writing here again.