Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lost... and found?

So, Dr. Fink, the shrink who makes you think, (thank you, Bo Seuss :) is actually kind of sweet. Today was my second appointment, and maybe because I wasn’t seeing her through quite such a gloomy fog, I found things to appreciate. Her quiet, almost shy manner, the way she walks, a little humped over, around her office, the look on her face when she asked me how I was doing. Her brightly colored outfit, along with the sweet, worn, matching mary-jane flats.

I’ve been on meds for two weeks now. Long enough, she says, to begin to feel some results, not long enough for the full effect. Meds. Drugs. Anti-depressants. Pharmaceuticals. Whatever, the little purple pill I take once a day to help my brain chemistry recover from what I see in hindsight was a near-total meltdown caused by complete overwhelm. Intense heat, unexpected financial and other life setbacks, feeling suddenly trapped, away from everything familiar, one thing after another going wrong with my new home, all hitting a system that was on pretty shaky ground to begin with, that was still working hard at recovering from such big life changes. And I am feeling a little better. One or two rungs up the ladder. I don’t know if it’s the meds, or making some decisions that help me feel less trapped. I also don’t know if the why really matters.

Several times lately I’ve found myself trying to describe the awful lost feeling that has been with me so much of the time. It’s like stumbling around in complete darkness, I say. It’s like everything you thought you knew is suddenly gone. It’s like being confronted with a huge void, a deep canyon of nothingness; like being dropped in a foreign country, or hurled into space, and left with not one familiar thing, no stone to step on, absolutely no clue as to destination. It’s like losing your way, I add, feeling the frustration of trying to articulate an experience, a feeling, that there seems simply no language for.

Two weeks ago a new friend sent me something that she said had really helped her in her own disabling dark night several years before. I opened the attachment, read “Three Steps to Finding Your Purpose,” and groaned audibly. Did she not get it? Did she not understand that the last thing I need right now is some new age bullshit? Some 32 page questionnaire that will magically transform my life. I’m depressed, for god’s sakes. Maybe I have the wrong idea about her…

As I closed the document, my eyes landed on the first question. Four simple words that were suddenly etched upon my being. “What do you love?” it asked. What do you love? What do I love? And suddenly, I knew that here was a point on a compass that could show me the way. What do you love? It rolled around in my mind, a juicy little morsel, a possibility. I knew this was not about family, not about people, but what I, in my heart of hearts love, what I am passionate about, what, as they say, turns me on.

The answer was as immediate as it was simple: I love taking pictures. Boom. A foothold. I love the feeling of the camera in my hand, love trying to capture the beauty I see. Boom. When I am taking pictures, I enter a world where nothing exists outside of what I am focused on, no mind, no fear, nothing but the moment. Boom. Boom, boom, boom, little explosions of light, and of knowing. Of possibility. How do you get found when lost? By following your heart. By finding what you love and letting it lead the way. Big, big Boom.

Over coffee a few days later my friend and I had a great laugh over my reaction to her email, then sat in quiet appreciation at how it changed things appreciably, and the holy awe at how life oftentimes works.

And that's another way that I can see I'm feeling a little clearer: Every so often, now and then, I get a glimpse of the magic...

Another interesting quote for the moment~

If you wish to rise, begin by descending. St. Augustine

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