Saturday, October 25, 2008

Non-tropical Depression Dave

I've been in the midst of my twice yearly spring/fall episodic depression.  This fall installment started early.  It is typically arriving in October.  This year it arrived somewhere in the middle of September.  I can only ever detect its coming in hindsight.  It dawns upon me like some dark day.

I am very much in the depths right now, maybe as low as I have ever gone.  It is difficult to do anything.  Getting out of bed and going to work is a victory maybe unknown to most.  I prayed today for God to make a way for me to go on an extended road trip.  I greatly desire to be carried in the close womb of a car driving down the road for hour upon hour.  Buckled tightly in the seat, gripping the steering wheel with steely hands, as the long miles pass beneath the wheels of my rolling ark of salvation. . . cruise control set, all I have to do is to keep the car upon the road as I meditate and pray.

Those who know me, know me as one passionate about life and as giving myself fully to anything that I involve myself with.  Right now I don't enjoy much of anything.  I do not care at all about taking pictures.  I do desire to write, but nothing seems interesting or capable of holding my attention for more than a few moments.  I force myself to write these words. . . maybe proving therapeutic for myself or for someone else who reads them.

Strangely I greatly desire to bake bread.  I don't know what it is about bread baking, but I am consumed with it.  Maybe it is that I desire beauty in my world of gray and the creation of bread is an act of beauty.  Creating from the ugly messy glop of ingredients, the earth so to speak, something so fragrant, something so pleasing to the eye, so greatly comforting, nourishing, delightful to the palette. . .

I bought 140+ pounds of flour and related ingredients last week and I will exceed that this week.  For as much time as I spend at Bonneyville Mill county park, I never thought of it before as a functioning grain mill, but it surely is.  The prices for the flours ground there are very reasonable and the knowing of the beauty of the place adds to my enjoyment of and pride in the breads I am making from the stone ground wheat produced there.

While in my depression, everything negative is accentuated.  Physical aches and pains are magnified. . . mental aggravations and irritations are ever before me. . . fears, hatreds, jealousies, unhappiness all consume me.  I am in battle all day long.   I ache physically, mentally. . . emotionally.  My days are a dull gray ache. . .

I have no answer, no path do I know to take me directly out of this.  This little dark river must run its course.  Praying and worshiping God does help me.  It keeps me from sinking more deeply into my mood.  It keeps me at least in the perspective that there is hope, that this will pass, that I am not alone in this, that this is serving a purpose, maybe burning things out of me that should not be there.

I spoke at the jail Wednesday evening.  I talked to a group of maybe six men for more than an hour.  There was something very different Wednesday evening from any other talk I had ever given (or at least that I can remember) in the almost eight years I've been going in there.  There was less of me in my talk and more of Jesus.  My depression brings great humility.  I am so low.  The Lord can bring lowness to you in many ways. . .He can use many things.  In a funny way lowness is greatly to be desired . . .surely not wanted, but needed. . .This was a crystalline talk. . . there was a clarity, a transparency from my lowness that allowed Jesus to shine all the more brightly.  The men were tremendously moved.  At the end all of them were very emotional. . .

There is no way for me to know how long this will continue.  It is not at all pleasurable, but like so many non-pleasurable things good for me at the same time. . .

I love you my God. . .
I try to thank you my Lord. . .

Dave

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