Saturday, May 16, 2009

First Video, New Interview, Withdrawal

I was castigated by one Sissy T for not continuing this blog, even though her comment was below a post from 2008. Can't please all people in all times, as "Lost" and "Star Trek" (both of which I highly recommend) have taught us.

J. J. Abrams, producer of both, seems to have solved that old conundrum: You can meet yourself in the past because you're adult self is on a different timeline. Forget the math; it adds to the drama.

BTW, I bought a cheap webcam and here's my first recording:


Moodwise I've been sketchy. I've had a lot of weeping spells at my usual witching hour, 11 AM, though only once in the last three days. And with that emotion comes the cacophonous recitations of demons: "You're no good. You're worthless. Why exist? You're a burden." And blah, blah, blah.

Among the mood-disordered, this is the chicken and egg question. For severe mood disorders like mine, the affect or emotion always precedes the negative thoughts. Thus to improve my thoughts I must improve my mood, not the other way around. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is more helpful is lesser cases, I think.

IN OTHER WORDS POSITIVE THINKING HAS NEVER HELPED ME OUT OF A DEPRESSION AND NEVER WILL; I CAN'T HAVE POSITIVE THINKING WITH AN OVERWHELMINGLY BAD MOOD.

(I think that that's the first time I've used capitals on this blog.)

Although I will not admit being more than three kilorats down, to give you an idea of where my head has been, here's a dark poem from a dark mind.


Dark Christ

I

I kissed the thin lips
of the black Jesus of depression
ignominiously tacked
to a rough-hewn cross.
His eyes stared blankly,
black marbles in white.
His loincloth had a gold band
to match his yellow hair.
On his black wrists
blood was barely visible.

I wanted to fall at his feet
but his eyes were fixed
at some insensible point
beyond any horizon,
some future judgment perhaps
of the cockroach called man.
I knelt and pawed at his ankles
in hopeless supplication.
Blood dried on my hands
but he never looked down.

Larger than death he hung
never accusing me
but staring, staring
at a point beyond any point,
his face lost to man.
How could my salvation be so eclipsed?
What did I owe him?
He owed me nothing.
All was dark save his hair.
And why blond?
An attempt at a halo?

II

In those three hours
he agonized, separated
from every good ever authored
by the smallest angel
sent by the Father,
bereft, without heft
or substance,
an entire negation
of carbon-based life
staring, staring
at a point beyond points--
there was no room for man
so I threw my salvation down
like a piece of bloody obsidian
and like the disciples
had no faith in the resurrection,
the ultimate betrayal.


See? It's not the kind of art you want to hang on a hotel wall, much less your refrigerator. But I think it's powerful, and it's rare I'm fairly happy with a near first draft.

As a docent I lead lots of tours through the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, which I highly recommend. I'm most gratified when I get elementary school children and I can show them how a flower is both a girl and a boy.

Talk about narcissism! Self-pollinators, obviously not Catholic.

I have now successfully withdrawn from m.s. contin, a long-acting form of morphine I've taken for my neck and back. I have sneezing, loose stools and a great tiredness, but I know it will pass. I do feel a little clearer, which was my goal. And I've rarely smoked since April 1, so withdrawal from narcotics and nicotine, quoth my shrink, might have something to do with my recent dip? Or was it the unconscious memory of my two-year depression that began on April 1, 2006? I've had less than a year of normal mood since. But I am so grateful for it, when pancakes taste good and the blue jays shine and flowers explode like popcorn, yes this incredibly variegated world in which we live, the small blue flower by the roadside whose name you'll never know.

Before closing I'd like to share a new link to an interview with me in MyDepressionConnection.

Unlike the romantic blog interviews, this one focuses on the manic-depressive aspect of my work.


Thine in Truth and Art,

2 Kilorats,

C. E. Chaffin

4 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about your "sketchy" mood. Positive thinking per se has never worked for me either, but cognitive techniques shouldn't really try to "be" "positive" as much as address thought distortions. It's a subtle difference, but important. But then ... you knew this already.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous3:50 AM PDT

    Interesting CE. The self-erasure of depression counterposed against Christ's cockroach-man. Smallness, the smallest angel. Insensible or insensate? Rough-hewn cross is borderline cliche, no?
    I'm sorry to read of your kilorats. I would call this poem 'De Minimus'

    take care
    norm

    ReplyDelete
  3. Indeed, rough-hewn answers to cliche' but can you think of an alternative? That's the question. Since I couldn't, I didn't want to interrupt the process of writing the poem. The poem is based on an actual piece of art I own of a primitive black Jesus with golden hair being crucified--the eyes are arresting--carved somewhere in Mexico, I think. You should come see it and then you can label my work ekphrastic.

    ReplyDelete
  4. An insightfull post. Will definitely help.

    Thanks,
    Karim - Positive thinking

    ReplyDelete

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