Although this blog exists in order to promote my own project as well as to support the projects of similar, like-minded Artists and Writers, I can’t help but confess that I’ve been posting a lot of personal stuff here lately. It doesn’t sit entirely well for me to do so. However, my Art is so entirely wrapped up in my personal issues and experiences, it becomes a bit difficult to separate the two at times. Nor should I really concern myself with creating an arbitrary separation, as though my absorption in Art were a strictly professional matter, mandating that I leave my personal stuff behind in order to work. Such distinctions never pan out in reality — not for me, anyway.
The best “separation” I’ve ever been able to accept is that I write better about personal experiences when they are not immediately happening. Take my recent writings on Homelessness, for example. The descriptions of the homeless life that I wrote while I was homeless might be extremely lurid, perhaps even shocking, but they don’t adequately convey the essence of homelessness towards those who are not homeless. I write better about homelessness when I am removed enough from the experience to be more objective in my writing, but not so far removed as to have forgotten entirely what it was like to live outdoors, sleeping with one eye open, constantly wondering when I was going to be awakened, by whom, and for what purpose. I’ve been living indoors for almost a year now, and the urgency with which I sometimes feel compelled to post about my homeless experiences is based almost entirely on the perception that I’m about to forget all about it, any day now.
All that said, I don’t wish to belabor personal issues here on this blog to the extent that they overwhelm or even replace my focus on my Art. But lately they have been so intense that I’ve felt that I had to. It would have been sheer hypocrisy to sit here behind my computer, pretending that everything is A.O.K. Still, enough is enough. It’s time I take responsibility for my depression, and move forward once again.
So I’m going to swallow my pride once again, and meet with my therapist and my doctor on Friday, and concede to explore the new mood stabilizer that they have considered for me, on the basis that the previous one (which I’ve not taken for months now) was giving me acid reflux. Although I am leery as to any lasting effects the medication may have, I do recall that the previous medication definitely helped me to focus well enough to finish my musical script and to interact favorably with the other Writers in my guild. After a while, however, its favorable effects sort of wore off, and all I was left with was the acid reflux. Maybe this one will be better. We’ll see. In any event, I don’t want to become as depressed as I’ve been throughout the past several days, if I don’t really need to be.
I do want to report that I’m in much better spirits today. For one thing, I got up and made a daily gratitude list — as I do every morning — only this time it was not merely the empty ritual it had somehow become. I sincerely attempted to come up with ten things I could truly be grateful for — and you know what? It worked. (The strong cup of coffee alluded to in #9 below also helped.)
GRATITUDE LIST 591
1. It was good to go to One World last night, where I felt the energy of being around students who are into higher learning and not into ripping me off, rather than around tweakers who are only into crystal methamphetamine and ripping me off.
2. I had this funny feeling of “recognition” when I walked past the Kenworthy on the way to One World and “remembered” how David H. would often invite me to some theatrical event there, and often I would attend and talk with him thereafter.
3. I noticed that D. seemed kind to me when he paused briefly from his studies to say “hello” — not so much as though I was only another interruption.
4. I did something different when I got up this morning and listened to this brief clip of Pastor Larry Austin, my friend from Faith Family Presbyterian Church in Oakland. A nice reminder with which to begin the day. I was grateful that God sent it to me first thing in the morning, and grateful that Larry requested my Facebook friendship, after all this time.
5. Jim the Janitor has also requested my friendship on Facebook. I’ve also noticed that Jim is a lot more fun to talk to once I have accepted his peccadillos.
6. Speaking of which, today would be Day 13 — were it not for the “peccadillo.”
7. I remembered Homelessness in the surprising rain that poured when I left One World last night, and I felt that earnest gratitude once again when I got behind the locks of the room I am renting. Beats being out in the rain.
8. I get to play for the Taize service tonight. I can also apologize to Erika and maybe even show up for Choir practice, if they have it.
9. Vandals Blend coffee from the Bagel Shop last night. Good thing to have saved it for morning, and grateful for the coffee cup that Kathy Pendegraft gave me from the church yesterday. Glad she pointed it out, because I would never have thought of it, despite how desperately I’d have longed for one in the morning.
10. Though depressed throughout the day yesterday, a brief conversation with Nick cheered me up quite a bit. It was as though I picked up his positive attitude all the way from Marin. I was able to sleep well after that, though previously I had been very anxious.
I actually got all the way through the Gratitude List without spouting anything negative that I am aware of. This could be a good day in Christ, and anyway His blessings are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. It is another day of Grace under the sun.
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