I finally made it back to the gym today, lifted over five tons with various muscle groups, 220 crunches, countless stretches, 50 min on the treadmill for a little over two miles and 734 feet climbed, and finally a mile swim. But I'm not losing weight. I'm actually eating more because my muscle mass has increased and the hypothalamic set point tries to keep us at the same weight. In order to truly get in shape I must radically alter my indulgent diet, beginning with my infamous night grazing. After dinner and a couple of television shows is when I start to do my real damage.
My landlord suggested Dr. Phil's diet. I look at Dr. Phil and wonder what I'm missing. But just because a dude is hefty doesn't mean he hasn't discovered a good diet. As Jesus said, "The Pharisees sit in the seat of Moses, so do what they say but not what they do."
I think I mentioned the Summer Solstice ceremony where I picked "love yourself" off of the tree. What does that mean and how can you do it? I've always felt love must come from outside me unless I'm manic. Love comes from praise for achievement or because someone truly loves you, like my daughters or Kathleen. How does one generate it from within? I don't feel it, never have. One guru wannabe from my men's retreat told me to do mirror work for three weeks, repeating some ten times into the mirror every day: "Craig, I love you and I trust your decisions." This was a bad time in my depression, so I didn't follow through. But it was one of the silliest experiences of my life in retrospect. Who knows, maybe it works. But does a need for self-love justify self-hypnotism? And how deep can that be?
How I do go on. I'm still fragile, tenuous, mostly depressed despite my actions. I need my doctors to file a disability update and fear that my income will be yanked from me. I must get my medical license renewed so I have a chance of surviving without my private disability. Making myself do that is another thing, though at least I did the fingerprinting part.
Enough about me. How about a picture or two? Here's an image of Satan by William Blake:
Here's another version:
Sometimes I believe in Satan more than I believe in God. This world can be so dark. I should really stop reading the newspaper. When I saw the retarded young man in the pool with his braying mouth and short attention span today, forgetting to catch a ball from his keeper in less than five seconds, I should have rejoiced with him instead of thinking of his undeserved defects.
"Dark, dark, dark, they all go into the dark." --Eliot
The ego dystonia from the gap between what I believe and experience is sometimes nearly intolerable. But I get by.
I want Mother Teresa's rose-colored glasses, because I think they're actually lens implants from a truly spiritual nature. But when I pray I feel like I'm talking to a blank wall, an empty room, a starless night.
The most I can hope for is acceptance, acceptance of my judgmental nature and the associated guilt it brings to me. Can I find a suitably dark poem to reflect my state of mind? Let's try this one, twice published:
His cold breath steams up my neck
like dry ice. I never see him approach.
He comes from darkness
where eyes forget they are eyes,
where speech has no conclusion
and touch is without resistance,
where music turns to noise
and selves are emptied of history
and personality like milk bottles
below the ninth circle of hell.
I hear his wild dogs carol
in the burning church of my mind.
Pass the offering plate--
Is that a medicine vial, a gun?
Jimmy crack corn and I don't care,
the light has gone away.
Hope this post doesn't get you down. I'll be better soon. Sometimes I just need to vent about the dark side, young Skywalker.
C. E. Chaffin M.D. (M-D)