Light of the World, Hold Me
Morning arrives, cold and cheerless. An unwanted guest. Sunlight pokes pale skeletal fingers through bedroom curtains. I pull the covers over my head. Go away.
Winter's icy breath sighs into my open window. I snuggle deeper under my fleece patterned with brightly-colored peacocks, resenting the flight of calm darkness, trying to ignore the clamoring horses of dawn.
Curled under my fluffy blanket, I hear the muffled but familiar voices of the newscasters on National Public Radio, channeling the voices of the world. After hearing their stories throughout most of the years of my life, they are my family, even though I've never met any of them. I poke my head out from my warm cave to listen carefully, concentrating, hoping to hear a story about hope, something to buoy me all day, so I can rediscover my lost words. After a few minutes of murder and mayhem, I decide that I'd prefer the newscasters to read aloud to me, maybe a Harry Potter book or some of Mary Oliver's poems. Finally, sadness loosens her grip somewhat when one of my parrots murmurs softly, "Good morning!"
She has such a sweet voice. I should teach her to recite Mary Oliver;
That sweet flute John Clare;
that broken branch Eddy Whitman;
Christopher Smart, in the press of blazing electricity;
My uncle the suicide;
Woolf, on her way to the river;
Wolf, of the sorrowful songs;
Swift, impenetrable mask of Dublin;
Schumann, climbing the bridge, leaping into the Rhine;
Poe, rambling in the gloom-bins of Baltimore and Richmond--
light of the world, hold me
-- That Sweet Flute John Clare by Mary Oliver [West Wind, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1997. Reprinted without permission, with no intent to profit in any way]
I inhale strength. Resolve. Today is the day that I will be confident, professional. Today, I will fight for my career. I will be worthy of keeping my birds another day, as if providing them with excellent care isn't good enough.
But it isn't. I resent that this is my life. But I am not giving up. Not today. Comforting warmth pulls at me as I climb out from under my fluffy peacocks, stumbling a little in the chilly air as I stand up and open the curtains.
Light of the world, hold me
tags: depression, Mary Oliver
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