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.
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.
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.