This weekend, a friend and I took our daughters to White Lake. I grew up going there for a week every summer — it’s a place full of so much nostalgia. Extra so, since absolutely nothing has changed in the last 30 years. Well ok, fewer people chain smoking on the beach. Also, there are now mini fridges in the motel rooms.
The last few weeks have left me raw. A bundle of nerve endings too close to the surface, chafed by every tiny demand thrown by life. It would short circuit and leave me feeling stuck in the murky darkness, where feelings are different. Less than and greater than at the same time — a heavy fog shrouding the world in a deep sense of dread and confusion. I was aware that there were alternatives to the be found — that happiness did exist as a gossamer, intangible idea somewhere beyond the grey. A theoretical thing. If I reached for it, my hand came back empty.
A couple of days ago, I was cheering to some friends that my therapist will be back from maternity leave soon. A friend responded, “Party down to sanity town!”
Rowan slept through the night last night. This is not a drill. I repeat — Rowan slept through the night last night. This is the first time in many, many months that he has slept all the way through. On those occasions, my body was so used to waking up 29384029348 times in the night that I did not sleep well, anyhow.
I was thinking I hadn’t felt all that depressed this winter. Then I realized that everyone else is also depressed so I’m only less depressed by comparison. It’s difficult to wallow in this temporary darkness when we are all engulfed in an existential muck. We are all Artax and we’re walking through the Swamp of Sadness. Even the most optimistic among us are Atreyu, at best — doomed to keep up that grim determination lest The Nothing descend upon us all.
I don’t trust birth.
There. I said it.
I feel like I’m supposed to be a good little half-hippie, trusting birth and bodies and earthmothergoddessblahblahblah.