Friday, 27 June 2014

L-I-F-E, Poetry in Motion

When I am struggling with depression, it can often feel like I am in a gloomy room with no windows, just lots of doors, and every door I try is locked. In desperation, I yell for help, but no one comes. I stare at my hands as if expecting to find help there. The lifelines on each palm leap out at me, and do a little dance. My fingers make a grab for them, anxious to return them where they belong. Suddenly, I am left holding a key and know instinctively that it will turn in the lock of the next door I try.

Oh, the lock may well be stiff, and the key take some turning, but I persevere in the sure knowledge that beyond the damn door there has to be something better than being stuck alone and scared in a darkened room; a life, for example.

Ah, the wonder of imagination, not unlike a lotus flower surviving the murkiest depth as nature intended although I guess any old metaphor or synonym for survival will do so long as the inner eye can focus on it, and stay focused.  Yes, it may take a while, but for me at any rate, it’s how I (eventually) find myself back in business. 

You don't have to be a writer or even into the arts at all; gardening, painting and decorating, any form of creative therapy is likely to get the better of depression. Don't expect quick fix, but persevere and give yourself a fighting chance to get back on form... and if you know anyone suffering with depression, please give them a helping hand and (even more importantly) a helping ear. 


Sometimes when I’m feeling low
I’ll enter paintings on walls,
engage with crowds at market fairs,
let history course my veins,
giving selfhood a new dimension
and fresh direction, letting
a lazy inner eye know we’re back
in business

Or I might stroll along rugged cliffs,
communing with waves below,
pause to chat with a friendly peasant
whose lot more harsh
than I will ever know, text books
do justice or any sympathy
with poverty even begin to bring
it home...

An old farm house might invite me
to join its ghosts in a hearty meal,
the inimitable smell of home baking
lingering long after we’re eaten,
reviving my other senses, replacing
lethargy with motivation
enough to find satisfaction in putting
imagination to work

Copyright R. N. Taber 2012

[From: Tracking the Torchbearer by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2012.]

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