23 March 2008
A room of my own
I just went for a run along the East River. It's a gorgeous day, and I should be thrilled with life...but for some reason I'm losing the endorphins right about now. I feel like I'm overdue for a good cry, and yet I'm not really sad about anything! I think there's more a fear of the possibility of being sad. I'm absolutely terrified of slipping back into that place again. It's funny, I've always felt that depression is like a room that you inhabit. An ugly, dim room with cracked plaster and bare walls. A place in which the “me” objects that used to inhabit the room disappear and are replaced with foreign objects. It's funny-- a few years ago I wrote a very personal essay about that experience and how I view it spatially. I wrote that normally I would be a room with beautiful useless objects, such as glass bird paperweights and unmatching floral China teacups, perfume bottles, and intricate lamps, arranged on a background of clean, light green walls and lace curtains. Which is funny, because that's exactly what my apartment looks like right now (minus the lace curtains, unfortunately). So when I'm feeling down, I look for the external context to match the internal context that I've lost: antique stores, independent coffee shops, gardens, great music. A bird cage hanging in a tree.
Zooey's new CD came out this week-- She & Him, Volume One, with M. Ward. It is lovely. Zooey's voice is haunting. It makes me want to meet her even more! I hope hope hope that they come to New York on tour. I only wish that there were a few more upbeat numbers, a la The Ditty Bops or The Pipettes. I am needing a day off like whoa. I'm becoming unbelievably peeved at the people I work with; I feel like a broken record, explaining the same issues over and over again. AKA that I am only one person and my job is to organize the eight million people I deal with to the best of my ability-- but the thing is, people are not objects. They are unpredictable and they sometimes don't agree to be fit into categories or, furthermore, to do my bidding. No matter how many details I gather, or how resolutely I try to plan, things will not always run smoothly. All you have to do is watch Top Chef or Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? to realize that. Whatever. The point is, I'm in need of complementary surroundings. I need soul mates in places and books. Or maybe just a few days to regroup. The point is, the way I've been feeling over the past week, I'm so afraid that those old feelings will creep back in and make their (unwelcome) presence known-- and while I know that I'm strong, I know that I'm sensitive as well. Perhaps too sensitive. I don't want to be dissatisfied-- but sometimes I feel like a square peg in a round hole.
And reread Mansfield Park. Along with The Dud Avocado (current bookclub read) and the Thomas Hardy biography I've been intending to read for ages. And while reading I'll envision Edmund Bertram, played by Jonny Lee Miller, with his full lips, strong jaw, compassionate eyes, and genuine words...something I definitely need.
"'I have been thinking,' she continued, still in the tone of one brimful of feeling, that the social moulds civilization fits us into have no more relation to our actual shapes than the conventional shapes of the constellations have to the real star-patterns. I am called Mrs. Richard Phillotson, living a calm wedded life with my counterpart of that name. But I am not really Mrs. Richard Phillotson, but a woman tossed about, all alone, with abherrant passions, and unaccountable antipathies..." ~Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure
"I could not help it: the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes. Then my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third story, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of the spot and allow my mind's eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it‹and certainly, they were many and glowing; to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement, which, while it swelled it in trouble, expanded it with life: and, best of all, to open my inward ear to a tale that was never ended‹a tale my imagination created, and narrated continuously; quickened with all of incident, life, fire, feeling, that I desired and had not in my actual existence." ~Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre