Reminders (for a depressive episode)

1.)	Breathe.

2.)	Be kind to myself
	though I find
	breathing
	to be
	difficult.
	This will pass.

3.)	Don't hate myself
	when I realize
	I've forgotten
	this will pass.

4.)	Don't succumb
	to the depression,
	but sit with it.
	Depression
	responds best
	when I make
	eye contact.

5.)	Remember,
	in a depressive episode,
	these words are violence:
	“I shouldn't feel this way.”
	“Look on the bright side.”
	“Why can't I feel
	the way I did
	yesterday
	last week
	last month?”
	This is an inner wrestling
	I am not,
	at the moment,
	prepared for.
	It always results in
	torn muscles,
	strains,
	fractured bones.

6.)	Be patient.
	What feels so real today
	will be mist 
	tomorrow
	next week
	next month.
	Whenever the sun
	rises again.
	I've walked this road before.
	This is the gloomy stretch of
	dark
	dank
	misty moors.
	The coast is just
	a little way
	beyond.

7.)	Breathe.

 

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Monarch

The need for approval,
greedy and insatiable,
too often pins me down –

another insect specimen, attached
neatly to a placard, on display at
a natural history museum.

People shuffle past,
attending to the more interesting exhibits,
dinosaurs and crystals.

I wish to practice being
a monarch, alive,
flimsy and flying free.

People are inclined
to gasp in delight – Behold!
This flitting glimpse of living gold.

Ought To Be

Some days
I feel

when I am thinking 
	I Ought To Be doing
when I am doing
	I Ought To Be thinking

when I am speaking
	I Ought To Be silent
when I am silent
	I Ought To Be speaking

when I am with others
	I Ought To Be alone
when I am alone
	I Ought To Be with others

Like a Rubik's Cube 
	with too many
		colors and sides
	some days
		this feels
	like a puzzle
		with no hope
	of solving.

I toss 
	the tired old game
		over my shoulder
	and sigh:	

“When am I allowed 
	to Ought To Be being?”

Some days, 
	it is tough 
being me.

Tell me,
	my dear:
is it tough
	some days
		to be you
	too?

 

I Wonder

I wonder what
the small spider says
when it catches in its web
a flimsy fall leaf,
burning red,
instead
of a fat, juicy
fly.

Does it shake a fist –
or two
or four
or six –
and curse,
“How can I live
in a universe
where
a leaf
dare disturb
my web?

What I wanted
was a fly!”

Does it admire
the shape and color of the leaf,
and observe
what a safe
and lovely
shelter
it provides?

Or does the spider simply shrug –
sometimes
that’s how
life goes.

I wonder.

This Way to Peaches

I.

A sign reads:
“This way to peaches.”

I now know
summer has waxed its full,
and now wanes,
albeit
with sweet juicy
pleasure.

A sign reads:
“This way to peaches.”

It is difficult to believe the way to happiness
is so simple:

Follow these signs
and arrive.
Enjoy
the sunny,
fuzzy,
sticky,
messy
fruit.

It is so simple,
but never easy!

II.

Here is the work invisible,
hiding behind baskets
overflowing
with bounty:

The planting of the seed
to produce a sprout.

The waiting for the sprout
to become a sapling.

The preparing of the soil
for a young tree,
fussing over
moisture,
nutrients,
pH.

The waiting years for the tree
to come to its mature season.

The worry of a season,
watching weather,
buds,
bugs,
a fruit ripening in time.

The hard, hot day spent
harvesting the fruit

before

any
can enjoy
the sweet,
fuzzy pleasure.

III.

A sign reads:
“This way to peaches.”

Stepping Stones

It is tempting to live
as though
arriving at
some translucent,
idealized,
future self
is the goal.

I'm beginning to suspect
	it isn't.

There are only 
	
	the boring 
		
		stepping stones

			of so many
		
				mundane

					todays.
Tucked within
the tedium 
are the teachers I most need

(and don't want.)

The Great Teacher
is the person
who
reveals to me
my shadow self.
And drives me crazy.

Can I stand to see 
myself mirrored,
(most unflattering), and
respond without
reacting?
				Can I make sacred
				the tasks of today –
				humble laundry, 
				dishes, 
				or whatever
				they may be?
				
						Can I love –
						I mean really love – 
						those 
						who have 
						tumbled
						into my life, 
						for today or
						forever?
										
						The answer is

						a definite maybe.

						Today,
						if I'm lucky,
						I might manage
						to live, “Yes,” to
						        two 
						out of three.

				That's okay.

				It always astonishes 
				the way
				so many
		
				tiny

				stepping stones

				taken

				day by day 


				     bring me unawares 		
	
			           to such breathtaking new vistas,


                                     the remarkable journey

				   visible
			
				only

		          by looking

		    b
	         a
	      c
            k.

Great Treasure Hunt

A sparkling
dew speckled web
between
telephone wires.

A rushing stream
under
a quiet bridge.

Maple leaves,
freshly fallen,
compost-able
autumnal rubies
and
golds.

A newt, friendly,
fiery red,
and
speckled.

The morning fog
hovering over
a country road
and
fields of corn,
leaves rustling.

There are
so many
gifts God left for you
in today’s
Great Treasure Hunt.

How many other
tiny treasures
can you find
tucked
within
this

priceless
delicate
day?