Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sonnet "Schism;" Mood improving.

Dear Friends,

I'm sitting here in my second day of euthymia (normal mood). I am trying to slow my mind down, to experience the miracle of mindfulness--the spoon dipping in the yogurt, each touch of my fingers on the keypad. I've tried this before but this is still very new territory for me.

Kathleen says of me, "There he goes, galloping off in all directions at once." I never really understood her comment before, but the retreat, my depression and the medications have all conspired to make me slow down, to notice my environment, to be less injury and accident prone, which is my nature. How did I get this way?

Beyond my own biology, my mother communicated constant anxiety to me, my father communicated impatient anger. Though they did not intend it, the result is great internal pressure for me whenever I attempt a task, especially when I am not euthymic. The pressure has not been crippling only because I was born strong-willed. But life would be so much easier if I simply took my time and paid attention. Even yesterday I gashed my head on an awning by not looking around first; then because of my height, my head is a collection of bumps and scars, so I have an excuse. Even so, I have hope that by slowing down, by not getting ahead of time in my head, by not living, because of pressure, in the immediate future, I may change. I pray it is so.

Today's sonnet is below. The first draft morphed into a completely different second draft, because I made up the first quatrain while driving and things change on paper. For those who don't know "rood," it's a Middle English word for "cross." I am grateful for your audience and your comments.

Thine in Truth and Art,

Craig Erick


How can we love ourselves and hate God?
Because the self has long replaced the rood.
There is no demon daddy to wag the rod;
The ghost in the machine was rendered crude.
How can we hate ourselves and love God?
Humility is not humiliation.
Luther tried with whips that cost him blood;
Devotion doesn't equal flagellation.
On Golgotha our efforts were rejected,
Religion vanquished—we can’t keep the Law.
On that foul hill we saw God unprotected,
Humiliated, lacerated, raw—
He hated himself for our sake to no avail;
In this new age it’s just a fairy tale.


  1. C.E.Chaffin,

    I recently spent two weeks in the acute ward of a general hospital. I know, I know, you have seen it all before, done it all. Nothing works. The world is a bitch - life is a bastard. But please read my post “Pain Management” at my blog. Your demonic head pain encompasses everything and more that my physical pain traversed. I am still in excruciating pain and will be returning to the consultant for another medical assessment tomorrow. I have tried to analyse this pain, witnessing it as it morphs through various stages. At first, around 2nd August it was an alien being that had taken over my entire body. This pain was new to me. I have never felt anything like it before. I fought so hard against it. I did not want this pain squatting in my body anymore. Then I accepted it for what it was. OK – Pain is a warning of something else. It is unwelcome but a necessary evil. It then dawned on me that pain is a taboo subject as I attempted to extricate an answer from medics about my pain into words that the layperson could understand. There is a giant void in our understanding and control of pain and I intend to investigate this area further in the near future.


  2. Dr. C

    Thank you for your reply. I sent you an email.


  3. "my mother communicated constant anxiety to me, my father communicated impatient anger."

    Wow - sounds like you grew up in the same house as I did!

  4. Common in "The Great Generation," as they call it now.

    What really made it "Great," I think, was the poverty of the Great Depression. Everyone went after the American Dream with a vengeance, ignoring some other areas of growth. (June Cleaver must have been on Valium.)

  5. Dear CE

    Oh, potty heck – I went to a medhelp forum to read up on different meds. One of the helpers said this.

    “A totally benign drug that preserves complete mental clarity with zero addictive potential sounds like something from a science fiction novel.”

    Still ploughing through the wealth of material on the net.


  6. Celebrex works. Really. And combined with Tylenol, provided you're not at risk for a coronary or stroke, it's safe. I take it. If I run out I really suffer. Got some free samples from my doctor today!

    Why research the net when you received the free advice of a doctor? Ah, what's free advice worth? ;-}

  7. Dear CE,

    I am very grateful for your advice. Please believe me. I am gabbling with the pain! You are very kind and you also have personal experience with this chemical, to boot. I am a worrier and usually try to jump hurdles before they hit me over the head. I am going begging today as it is my med appointment and I am climbing the walls in pain as I write this. The daggers arrive in waves and I usually wait until they change into something milder.

    Thank you for listening and wishing peace to befall upon you.



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