Saturday, 18 December 2010
The Phoenix and the Blues
Some days the melancholia is a chain encircling your neck. You despise yourself, everything and everyone. The previous day you were all smiles; you noticed the sun, a patch of blue in the sky. Today the birds outside your window are irritating – what makes them keep chirping tuneful melodies? Deeply you resent them. Not a lark, not a robin, nor a rare dove cross the sullen silver sky. Only pigeons, blackbirds and single magpies flitter through the pale opaque canvass outside your window. Trees shorn of leaves and cloaked in dusky browns depress your soul. The uniformity of houses whose colours match the trees’ dirty browns stimulates only a desire to return to the world of dreams. You remain as long as possible in bed- if there’s no work and there is no work because you have no energy to do anything or there isn’t anything to do. Without money – that accursed blessing without which there’s no beginning to attune yourself to its divinity. No – no money since some sod has refused to employ you or forced you to quit their employ or outrageously fired you when all the shortcomings were undoubtedly theirs. There’s a bubbling guilt churning through your insides for your flippancy with the preciousness of time. You know you must do something. But seriously what? Has anyone ever suffocated from this kind of nausea? For that’s how you feel, that the sickness in your stomach is a noose swiftly tightening around your neck, swelling its veins. You can’t breathe; though you are breathing and know you’re alive. You feel worthless, helpless, weak, lost, angry, sad, depressed, lonely. And alone. Beside the silly bird sounds, their wings drumming a collective beat from their occasional flight pebbling the sky, an empty stillness is your only company. This thing – well you know what it is and probable cause though you dare not name it - is predatory and pristine. Its severity is timeless. It has always known you. You reach to the cleft in your history that birthed it and settle at some childhood lack. No motherly bed tucks and stories; no hoistings up and swirlings round and round by daddy. No daddy period. No sibling with whom you didn’t compete for single mummy reassurances. And those were ends she didn’t always know how to make meet. The mantle of mummy and daddy she couldn’t always master when she too was prey to the thing that now attacks you. Positivity is a contrivance right now. You just can’t muster the courage to believe in it. Should someone dare to remind you of your brilliance you would not merely disbelieve them you’d be furious – and perfectly aware this is irrational - that they should lie simply to ‘pick you up.’ You don’t want to be ‘picked up’; you don’t need their lies; you don’t need them right now. The predatory thing needs its day. Today is it. Self-doubt and disbelief is that bluesy rhythm you need to experience right now. It was playing the moment you woke up. Though pathetic, which of course you know it is, self pity is some kind of sick necessity. Rare for some, it’s a regular narcissistic indulgence for others. It is the underbelly of all you know to be Truth. Yes – it is a soulless entity. You know this too. It’s transitory like all experiences. And from it you certainly will not die. Yet now you feel that’s what it might do; maybe it’s what you want, to die pitiably. Who would miss you and cry and care? Whose heart – how many will break were you to quit this wicked world and its tangling talons? And the year end with its incumbent, universally sanctioned merriments terrify you. You’re not brave like they who accept that now is the time to feel this popular peace and to believe in faith. Sceptics live and die alone. So you feel that perhaps now is your time to die. Does the year not have its end? Were the trees not lushly green some months back? Was the sun not real and hot in recent memory? Did the light not last for more than eight hours in each day a short time ago? You will rise again and return. So go on and die why don’t you? The clouds are never still nor the same; even now a new patch of blue is curling through them. This mood is a heavy curtain but you will summon the strength to push back and let light in. Your bed is no tomb. Though depression is a tyrant that commands your mood today you will gather the littlest stone -the sum of your energy- and aim straight just like David. You’re a Truth seeker attuned to hear the awakening beat. And there it is - within the darkened chamber of your mood there’s a sudden, varied illumination – an alchemical spectrum – the brilliance and magnetism of red firing your vitality into the richness, the absolute perfection, the sheer delight and splendour of burnishing gold. Now it is no ordinary, blandly coloured bird that penetrates your window. There is no greater vision that now claims your aliveness than a Phoenix whose eyes pierce but do not break your window. Without words it declares some vital need of you. Slowly motioning enflamed wings startle some secret purpose that inclines you to rise. This majestic bird is no mirage but the signal that the stillness has birthed. When you rise your bowed head is no sign of servility but the pride and perfecting meekness a Goddess displays in the absoluteness of immortality. Agelessly the Phoenix perfects the rhythm of its wings. And in its timely retreat from your window it weaves golden promises across the curtain of your now luminous horizon.