Monday, September 24, 2007


winter trees
Originally uploaded by madabandon.
Chronic depression is a cruel and thoughtless affliction. Let me put it this way: I am a highly educated, articulate, artistic person who has achieved a successful career as a composer. I have never gone for long without a commission of some sort, and have won some of the most prestigious honors in my art. I have a teaching position at one of the finest schools in the country. I love teaching. I am always happy to be engaged with my students and my colleagues. I work with numerous highly intelligent, accomplished people who are lively, passionate about their work, and humanistic in their values. I am blissfully free of dealing with a large part of the world that I find incomprehensible, those armies of high capitalists and all the greed and evil that they inspire. I stay free of the inanities of pop culture. I live in a nice apartment in a beautiful part of one of the world's great cities. I have wonderful pets whom I love more than anything. I have wonderful friends, people I dearly love. I have my family, sort of. I am in excellent shape--I exercise like a fiend-- and good health. I am not wealthy, but I have never cared much at all about money beyond that necessary to fulfill my basic, and relatively simple, needs.

And yet, no matter how often I remind myself of all of these things, I still feel, every single day for the last several months, a choking kind of despair and hopelessness that threatens my existence. Go figure.

But one thing occurs to me, a partial cause. I am in despair about the world. There is so much inhumanity, so much violence, intolerance, cruelty, and suffering, and it is impossible for me to numb myself to it, even if I wanted to. I feel like I myself don't do enough about it. Maybe this will lead me somewhere. I don't know yet.

1 comment:

she said...

your awareness is fantastic. to see and recognize the dark veil

and it seems to me, when depression is chronic, and day after day, there is no way to penetrate through to experience peace, joy, happiness

medication is in order. life should not be chronically miserable. it should vary, and include bliss, joy, peace, love, happiness

i'm glad you cannot numb yourself to the suffering of fellow human beings

but i do believe you underestimate the value of yourself as a kind, intelligent, compassionate, beautiful person who has and is contributing enormously to what is right and good on this planet with both who you are, and all you do

"i love teaching"

keep up the great work! your contribution is incalculably valuable