I feel like I need to bring a duster with me today. Maybe one of those fluffy feather ones that are so big you wonder what bird could have possibly “donated” the building blocks for it. Or just a good, old, trusty Dust Buster. Love those guys. They get into all the corners and manage to give my dogs an excuse for an exhilarating round of excited barking, all at the same time. Gotta love a household appliance that multi-tasks. Anyhow, I can see the dust has piled up in my absence … and the “cobs” have begun to string their webs from the corners once more.
So … Where have I been? And what have I been doing? It has to be something big and wonderful and ginormously be-awesome to keep me away from this place, right? Something just short of miraculous, perhaps?
Oh, how I wish that were true. How I wish I could pop back in and say, “Hey, you guys!! I’ve been writing and writing and writing like a mad woman! And I’ve gotten SO DARN MUCH done on my book! And it’s almost finished!!!” And then I would get up out of my chair and do a little dance in front of my desk. The dogs would join in, even though they would have no idea why we were happy and dancing. They’re dogs; they’re happy all the time. And we would all dance and bark and laugh and be happy until I realized the cat was glaring at me in disapproval, which would immediately remind me to employ proper decorum. “Proper decorum”, in this instance, of course, consists mainly of planting one’s hiney firmly in one’s desk chair. No hopping or whooping or dancing about. It’s … unseemly.
The truth, as often happens, isn’t nearly so bright. And it’s a lot less fun. As is typically the case when I am absent for an extended period of time, I’ve been struggling with some stuff. Winter has been hard, and my depression has not been kind. I’ve spent a lot of time just sitting around, staring at my computer … staring at the wall above my computer … staring out the window at my snow-covered yard … before sighing and giving in to that little voice that keeps whispering to me that a “Diagnosis Murder” power marathon is a fantastic idea. Just to give you an idea how many times my inner “I can’t do this” voice has won out, I’ve managed to watch all eight seasons of “Diagnosis Murder” in the last month. Yep. It’s not pretty, but it’s the truth.
I had it all planned out to crawl back over to WordPress and dust off my blog over the weekend. It was time — not that I felt I had anything much to say, and not that I felt any more like being “present” in the world around me. But I got sick this weekend. I have a kidney infection, so I’ve probably been sick for some time without realizing it. These things don’t happen overnight — even though that feels exactly like how it happened. Anyhow, there’s something about feeling too weak and crappy to get out of bed and feeling entirely too nauseous to stay in bed that really takes away all one’s creative impulses. Even looking at text in a book or on the computer screen made me sick to my stomach. It was neither pretty nor fun. There was much whining involved.
This most recent foray into the Depression-verse hasn’t all been bad or a complete waste of time. I’ve figured out some stuff about my book and about my writing and about myself. Not small things, either. Big things that feel important and weighty. I still don’t quite know what to do with these things, but they feel … real, somehow. I don’t know how else to explain it. I feel I need to write about these things. Ideally, to blog about them, but, failing that, at least to make journal entries about them. But, somehow, I can’t seem to make this happen. As real and important as these things feel to me, they also feel new and raw — a scab picked away from a healing wound. And I don’t know what to do about that or how to say it or how to make it all matter.
Still, there is hope in learning something new. It lurks at the bottom of the gray — that little, prickly feeling along my spine that tells me these things matter and reminds me I’m alive. There is hope in being able to sit quietly and stare at the wall. Maybe one day, there will be new thoughts and ideas, instead of this blank canvas of nothingness inside my head. There is hope in figuring out who I am, what I want, and where I want to be. There is hope in trudging through the gray.