Wonky Arts : Domestic Science

The Black Dog Days of Summer

July was a great month.

August was not.

It was too hot and I was hounded by depression.

The thing is, I like black dogs. I’ve lived with a some sweet labby types. I like the Black Dog that inspired Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to write a song about sex.

I like sex.

I don’t like the black hound of depression.

That beast has been kicking around most of my life. After five decades, I can usually hear it howling in the distance, close my emotional gate and keep out of its way. But sometimes that bastard sneaks up on me and bites hard.

I know what the bite feels like, and that it will subside soon enough, but while the nervy, smirking pain is here, and that arrogant SOB dog is sauntering through my head, reminding me that I obviously wasn’t paying attention, otherwise I would have seen  it coming…well it’s a self-fulfilling spiral downward into the irrational.

Doing things for people is a good way to step out of the spiral, if even for a few minutes. Badly timed phone calls or hiccups in business dealings can speed up the spiral. Big life changes feed it.

So getting my firstborn ready to send off to university, losing a bid on a nice, juicy contract, seeing my baby boy off on a cross-continental adventure without me, and my darling heading off across the continent to visit his son all converged in August.

I started to reflect on the immense change that my daughter’s next adventure would have on my life, our lives. I felt overwhelmed by the swirl of movement, in which my only role was to facilitate smooth transitions and keep the household running — not to underestimate the importance of this work, but it felt like there was nothing else. And CHOMP! I had no resiliency left for the torrent of horrific news and fucked up politics that came across my news feed. And I went down for 2 weeks. And it was hard.

I felt like all the juice was sucked out of me. I felt reduced to nothing more than the keeper of the day-to-day in our household, and the weight of running two businesses was crushing any leftover passion juice out of me like an emotional ciderpress. And I couldn’t stop myself from turning the screw some more, lots more.

Depression, for me, often means feeling stuck or boxed in. Change is needed, and change is hard to manifest or even think about when you’re busy beating the shit out of yourself for all the things you did or said/didn’t do or say/might have done or said/couldn’t do or say.

This time, what turned me around were two small events. It’s always the case. Often, it’s someone reaching out for my help or input on something. This time it wasn’t, it was about what other people were doing to change their lives up.

First, my friend Tee Johnny wrote about his experience with Make.Do.Camp. He talked about passion and magic and reconnection. Which is what I needed to find again.

Second, I bumped into  http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html

And I started thinking about all the time I didn’t have left to to reside in creativity. And that was the problem. I needed to reside in the creative more.

While canning dilly beans, the idea came clear for this blog.

And with that, I kicked that fucking black dog to the curb.

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