Thursday, June 25, 2015

Perpetual Motion Machinations


Back and forth I race between home and work, work and home.  My little brain is spinning like a flywheel as I keep forty-two irons in the fire.  I promise I’ve been trying to yank a few out and toss them aside (without starting some brushfire fairytale) in a desperate attempt to simplify.
It’s hard when I’ve got momentum going.  It’s hard to let that wheel run down.  I know that’s when the Dragon of Depression will reach out and clamp down on me with its poisonous fangs.  But as long as the wheel keeps spinning I outpace its efforts to take a bite of me.
So you see, Dear Readers, it’s better for me to tread the redline than sit in idle.  I can’t let the shadowy snake to wrap its scaly appendages around me.  I got to run.  I got to.
Anyway, in my efforts to outrun boredom, depression, and mundanity, I am also getting $#!+ done.  And that’s satisfying.  Not only am I struggling to self-medicate with movement therapy and constant distractions, but I’m also providing value and interjecting energy into the global system.  That makes me infinitely happy.  I’ve gone from a bad place (more than two years ago now) through some rough waters, and I think I’ve finally come through to the other shore. 
There are native shadows here that I’ll never fully escape, but for now I’m camped far out from that beachhead and it seems like a land of better opportunity.  I have to be careful still, and not tumble off some ledge into a pit.  Oh, and there are pits!
We took the kids to see Inside Out at the Drive-In last weekend.  Wow, what a deep movie!  It didn’t hit home until Silly Island fell into the Memory Dump.  Ack!  For a bright and colorful “kids’” movie that was a dark moment.  And when the imaginary friend sacrificed himself to save the rest of the mind? 
I made immediate connections to my own life.  I’ve lost islands in the past few years.  I’ve lost the comfort of naivety and the stability of tradition.  I proved to myself that you really can’t go back home again.  When Silly Island turned gray and began to fall apart I wondered how the filmmakers would bring it back.  And as a great wave of sadness hit me I realized that sometimes you never get it back.
In a way it was disappointing [SPOILER ALERT!] when Silly Island came back.  Not that I wanted Riley to lose her silly side forever, but it seemed too Hollywood for all of the positives to come back.  Reality is not so convenient. [</SPOILER ALERT]
I’ve learned the faint scent of an onset of depression.  I am more at peace with this underlying condition than I thought I ever could be.  I don’t delude myself into believing that I have it all under control, but being able to recognize it for what it is—being able to name the shadows that haint me—gives me a great deal of power in negotiating with the Dragon.  No bites today, if you please.
A few days ago I caught the briefest hint of that scent.  I worried that another bout of dragon rabies was coming on.  It passed like a dragon shaped cloud through a clear blue sky.  The shadow of it gave me a chill, but I was so caught up juggling white-hot irons I didn’t have a time to stop and pull on a sweater.  And it’s a good thing because it’s been hot as dragon far ‘round here these days.  And the wicked deer flies are out in the woods.
The moral of this fairy tale I guess is that keeping my mind and body occupied is key to keeping my sanity.  I (try not to) worry that if the shield breaks down there is nothing but a pit to fall into or a dragon to succumb to.  But I ain’t seen either one in a long time.  I’ll keep hunkered down behind this ol' coat of arms as long as I can.  I’ll keep frantically scrabbling to find things to toss out into the castle keep to distract Old Scaly from my true position.  I’m pretty crafty myself. 
I’m also learning all kinds of new tactics.  I have a lot of new shiny weapons to hurl at the beast.  Some I had all along, but just never took off the security packaging.  Like I could have shoplifted that sword.  Dingbats.
I haven’t been writing much lately.  That’s one of those tactics.  Writing is good and bad for me.  I articulate better.  But when I articulate I end up with a huge pile of grievances against the universe and I end up spending more time sorting through the pile unawares all the while the Dragon is breathing hot on the back of my neck.  I want to write, but I’m happier when I don’t extricate all of the negativity that’s lurking in my brain.
Someday I’ll have the luxury of focusing on what I want to write.  Today it’s not beneficial, so I won’t put so much energy into it.  I’m perfectly okay with that.  Simplifying.
The good things.  I know the tone is a bit gray here, and I don’t want to leave you with that. 
I am like water.  I find the cracks, the path of least resistance.  I freeze and boil.  I grind away.  I once wrote that I was like a boulder in the river, only worn away slowly, only solid in appearance on a human scale.  I don’t think I’m the boulder.  I think I’m the river.
I push forward relentlessly.  I will not be impounded.  Bring me your tires, bring me your appliances, bring me your silt…and I will inextricably push them toward the sea.  To subdue me you will have to invest a great deal more than it’s worth to do so.  I am contained by my banks, but I find a way to undercut them, to bypass them, and to subvert them at every turn.  You think you contain me, but I happily and anarchistically ignore your constraints.

I don't know, maybe I'm the boulder after all.  Obstinate in my anarchism.
I know simplifying is a good thing.  But I also know if I suddenly find myself without anything to do that my devious little mind will concoct some scheme to sacrifice itself to the dragon.  I can’t abide that. 
Lately I’ve groaned inwardly at myself as I voluntarily take on new schemes.  But then I laugh, toss aside the groaner, and go on.  I happily embrace this paradigm shift because I know in the long run it’s good for me.  I know if I can get a little further down the road I’ll have more breathing room.  Unless that’s just another self-delusion.  Maybe I’ll never get a chance to catch my breath.  Maybe with wiring like mine life just becomes a hamster wheel effort to escape the Dragon.
Well, heck far! I wasn’t going to end on a down note. 
It’s a good thing I like relentless forward motion. J

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