I’ve had an odd day today. It has been productive in that I have written paid blogs, I have done dishes and laundry, taken the dog out, cooked dinner (a ribeye and spinach) and I even worked out for half an hour. I even edited a little bit on the book and have a solid second draft on Chapter One done.
I’ve visited with friends, gone to counseling, and all around it has been a productive day.
But here’s the weird part. Lately I have felt a strange peace setting in for the first time in a very long time. I tell you, there is a moment of panic you get with that when you haven’t felt like that consistently in a very long time. It’s almost like a “It’s quiet. Too quiet.” Moment. Then there is the other part.
It’s a lot like driving down the road with the hum of the tires on the asphalt and the wind screaming in your ears. And when you stop, there’s nothing. No sounds of the road. No rumble of the motor. Just silence. Maybe that high pitched whine you have in your ears from things being so quiet. That keening, high pitched tone like you get after a gunshot goes off and you weren’t wearing your earplugs.
There’s no ping of a late night text, there’s no phone ringing, no knock at the door. Only the ticking of a clock in the darkness. Tonight I’ve been listening to old songs and they hit differently when you aren’t in the throes of depression. Usually you feel the music. Tonight Ive just been listening. Trying hard to connect, and I just can’t.
I started with Deftones, Change in the House of Flies. Then I went to Korn, Freak on a Leash. The music rabbit hole went further back from nu metal to Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, Alice in Chains, Johnny Cash (Hurt), and a few others.
I couldn’t feel anything anymore and it scared the hell out of me. This is something new. I heard the lyrics. The actual words and their meaning from an objective standpoint. Fell on Black Days by Soundgarden, Down in a Hole by Alice in Chains…I could appreciate them for the poetry and lyrics. Then I delved into Leonard Cohen with his Famous Blue Raincoat in his older years. It was beautiful, but it didn’t hit the same.
As someone who mines the emotions of the moment to write, it was a little unsettling to only see the heartbreak from a distance rather than feel it. I felt a little like manic depressives and how they feel on their meds. They don’t have that edge. They are often afraid that they don’t have the depth or range of creativity, and sometimes go off their meds.
I’m not on any medication (unless you count copious amouts of coffee), so at this point of equilibrium in my mental health I am wondering what in the actual hell is going on here. I’m just centered. I don’t ache. I’m not tired. Hell, it’s 1am and I’m writing this.
I don’t miss anyone right now. Maybe Layne Staley, Chris Cornell, Leonard Cohen, and a few others, but they are still here in their music. I don’t miss my youth. I am holding onto the happy times and looking at so many moments with a smile rather than the pain of an old wound. Nostalgia.
I listened to Hurt because in a way I wanted to hurt myself today, to see if I still feel. Nope.
It reminds me of Eddie Murphy in Vampire of Brooklyn after he has been shot: “It itches a little!”
Maybe this is the feeling of complete consciousness the Dalai Lama was telling Bill Murray about in Caddy Shack.
So I guess I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.
I’ve been so good at dealing with panic and crisis and chaos…I’m not even sure I know what to do with peace. How will this affect my creativity? Will this be as bad as a Metalica album after they all went to group therapy?
Right now, I have edits to do and paid posts to write, so none of those require the Hank Bukowski-esque chaos for creativity. So I’m going to run with that and get some work done. Get my life into a semblance of order. I might get to like it.
This isn’t exactly true. The sadness is still there, in the peripheral view and if I look back. But if I don’t look back, I don’t feel it. I just feel peaceful. Like a goddamned Eagles song.