The Doldrums

It was inevitable that after the magical month of Thanksgiving-to-Christmas hoo-hah I would find myself deeply entrenched in"The Doldrums." How does one return to mundane existence after days on end of wonder and excitement?

Watching the magnificent snow melt in Portland and reluctantly admitting that I may have to send the twinkling lights into hibernation for 12 months, I find it difficult to just sit with this honest lament surrounding the intense yearning for constant celebration.

My first reaction is to grab something to fill the gap, and my latest addiction is reading. If I'm having a bad week, then you'll see stacks of books surrounding my bed like a wall of word pillows. It can be rather enticing to find comfort and assuredness in a poet such as Hafiz who can lift your heart out of the doldrums.

Nevertheless, this year I'm trying a new tactic -- how can I just be with the doldrums? And while being in this place of stuckness, I find myself getting connected with some of the inside layers.

Of course I've got that feisty Me layer -- I'm me, look at me, do you see me? Then I cautiously peel that Me away when she's not looking and see a layer of...maybe fear -- if I'm not really me, then what am I? Then after some serious trickery and cajoling, I open up to a deeper sadness. Wow, life feels a little bit empty.

Finally, I let go of this sadness and find an amazing treasure. Like a creamy, gooey center of sweet goodness, I discover a core of intense laughter. A belly ripping joy. As if I am being heckled by the universe, and for a brief second, I step out of my safe candy coating and see everyone laughing at the wonderful absurdity and cleverness of the joke, and I too can't control myself from joining in with a great belly aching chuckle.

This year I have begun to understand that every single moment dies, and with its tiny expiring comes a new moment just around the corner. I'll never know beforehand when a wine glass will break, if the cat will rub my leg, or if the sun will break the rain clouds. Moment to moment is a infinite string of magical surprises that I get to open every day, and along with those presents come endless giggles and laughter, which throw wind in my sails and launch me straight out of the doldrums.


  1. Brion Gysin once said that "every moment you are alive, you are immortal."

  2. well said...your sails will be full and flying throughout 2009 i'm sure of that.

  3. Thanks to all for the lovely comments. I love the quote by Brion Gysin, and hadn't thought about him in a long time, so I welcomed the flashback!

  4. I have a word wall, too! I thought I was the only one. I look like a librarian in a nighty gown. I get there when the space between the dying moment and the new one stretches out a little bit tooooo long!

  5. So nice to know that you have a book fetish, Rebecca. I love the image of the librarian in a nighty. Maybe that could be a new business! A reading establishment where you are allowed to show up in your sleepwear and grab a cup of cocoa :)

    Ditto on the long dying moment!


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