The lobby of the building where I work is a five story open expanse with enormous walls of glass. The echoey space is where I eat lunch most days. From my preferred seat there is a great view all around of the people passing through. Usually there is just a constant parade of casually dressed office workers. However, one particular afternoon, a very well-dressed young woman walked through the lobby wearing sky-high black heeled boots and a cocktail dress fitting like she was born in it. I’m not a guy who typically stares at a woman, but this was different. I could not take my eyes off her……and she was getting closer and closer! The attention commanding work of living art came so close that I thought she was going to sit down across from me, but she didn’t stop. The fierce prance ever-so-close to my table continued, and then it happened.
This is my second post connected to a poem entitled Bounty. The first can be found here.
I have found many aspects of living are on a spectrum. For example, the feelings of anxiety and apathy lie at opposite ends of a spectrum. Despair and elation form the end points of another. The spectrum idea can be extended to living itself. Existing like a hermit, shut off from the world and sharing nothing of oneself is at one extreme with the other end being something like living as a Kardashian. Constantly experiencing emotion at one end of the spectrum or attempting to live at one of the extremes is just not feasible, and are Kardashians even real?
I have also come to realize an unfeasible aspect of these spectra is attempting to create an existence where one is perpetually at the center of every spectrum. For a while, I tried to achieve a perfect, never wavering center. All that came from it was fear and uneasiness when I began slipping from that unsustainable sweet spot.
Experiencing periods out of center is okay. The interval of unbalance gives perspective and appreciation for the center. How can one know joy having never experienced sadness? I believe the goal is not to always remain centered. The goal should be to acknowledge when shifts from center occur and to remember centeredness can be regained.
The spectra idea has become a useful tool to visualize my state of mind, determine how far out of balance is that state of mind and to begin finding a peaceful place once again. For instance, when emotions become supercharged I can identify that a shift toward anxiety has occurred. The solution is not to make a leap to the other end of the spectrum into apathy by numbing what I am feeling. The solution begins with acknowledging the anxiety and, from that point, to then look across the spectrum and see center where calm exists. The pace back to center is not a sprint containing a quick fix. Just as acknowledging the state of anxiety itself, each step back toward center is acknowledged as a positive gain.
Sometimes the journey back to center can occur on my own. At other times a shift is further toward an extreme endpoint and I need the help of my connections to achieve balance. These are the connections that exist both in the physical world and in the spiritual world.
One day, while feeling knocked from center in just about every spectrum of my being, I began to think of all the blessings and wonderful people in my life. What I envisioned that day returned me to a blissful center and this poem arrived.
While continuing to read through and catalogue everything I have written, it was interesting to discover I had used the same title for two poems – Bounty.
It seemed especially poignant to find these as we approach the holiday season. The season of consumption, of giving thanks and expressing the best we as a society have to offer is a perfect time to share these. I will leave this poem to your interpretation and simply say it was written at a moment of counting blessings. The second Bounty can be found here.
What I have posted to this point has generally been positive and uplifting (at least that has been the goal). Claiming my writing is always of this manner would be a complete lie. Lack of honesty is not what this blog is about. It is about open, vulnerable sharing and this post takes a turn away from the sunshine and flowers.
Photo by Harpal Singh on Unsplash
There is a commercial on TV promoting a medication using the slogan, “Depression Hurts.” If you ask me, a much more accurate statement would be “Depression Sucks”. I do not like to admit to my struggles with depression, much less talk about it in the open. However, denying the existence is not a productive means of dealing with it.
I am learning that depression thrives on isolation and darkness. It withers when the struggles and battles are openly discussed. The enemy of depression is light, and sharing this poem publicly is an effort to shine light like I have never done before.
I am winning the battles, yet there are days depression tries mightily to grip my being and maintain control. This was written on a recent day when a battle ensued. Writing the poem was an attempt to capture the feelings depression brings.
Let the light shine.