|the most fun thing I photographed all week|
One thing I have learned by experience is that I am not so depressed when I am meditating. I think that's partly because I am working, concentrating on following my breath, turning down the volume on unhappy thoughts. Also, when I meditate I intend to be receptive to space and the universe, a sort of listening similar to contemplative prayer.
But after that I was a mess again. Had to ask Tom for advice on which sweater to wear (he chose orange), spent ten or fifteen minutes putting a necklace on, partly the clumsiness of arthritic hands, partly the brain fog, a feature of fibromyalgia. It depresses normal (non-bipolar) people. And I think I'm over-medicated now as well; we'll see where this mood goes. But got dressed, got to church - on time! It was a beautiful sunny fall day.
At the door I met Catherine, a woman I know largely through Facebook. She is someone I feel warmly toward, because a while back she offered to tie-dye some of my boring white socks after I posted how frustrating it is to look for socks when you have large feet. I was on the tall side earlier in life, 5'8", though I am compressing now, and my feet have spread with age to size 11 1/2 narrow. I don't mind having big feet anymore, as I have figured out what feet are for, and am glad to be walking on them, but I can hardly find shoes that big, and no pretty socks.
Catherine stopped and said she wanted to tell me she reads my blog, and Thank you for sharing. Ahh. I was still cold, but I felt warmth in my center. And I felt somewhat enlightened by her comment; I realized my identity a little better, that I see this blog as an extended circle of friends.
I was still morbidly depressed. The sermon was interesting, and during it I wrote a poem that touched down on the memory of that very bad time in my life I had dreamed of. I wondered whether this was a significant date - I am sensitive to birth and death dates, sometimes unconsciously. And indeed, my mother's birthday was September 17, tomorrow. I don't remember her death date consciously; it was also in the fall. And here we are in this parade of deaths, our friends Teena and Greg, and now Tom's father, whose service is next Wednesday. Travel with our array of health problems can be an ordeal. Add to it all that grief.
After the service we came home and Tom cooked sausages and whole-grain waffles with maple syrup, and as I ate my mood moved up, who knows why. I have never enjoyed a meal more. It inspired me to clean up the kitchen and put together a casserole for tonight. Cooking has become a sometime thing for me, and I welcome the times when I feel like doing it.
The thing I know now about pain and depression is that these things, too, change, and change faster if you don't grasp ideas that now your day is ruined, or your week. Or that it's not fair - that was part of Mark's point today - it's not about fair. If you make a point of staying open to the moment, the whole world around you is changing, full of potential. This understanding is one of the teachings that makes Buddhism a religion, distinct from meditation for your health or to improve your business decisions.
[The image is the canopy for a fairy-tale like little bed in one of the Sunday school rooms in our church. Creative dance was held in that room yesterday.]