I was here before.
At the time, thinking about coming to an end. This time, remembering and thinking about the same, but from a very different perspective. About not wanting to, about fear, about ifs and whys. With a guilty conscience, almost. Frightened conscience. Guilty for allowing myself to think about my end and try to come to terms with it. To accept the idea.
Not that I ever succeeded, in accepting the idea. Perhaps the attempt wasn’t even genuine to begin with, maybe it was just a thought that surfaced, pushed a few buttons and made a bit of a number out of itself, and left without leaving much of a permanent trace. And certainly no conclusion, no accept.
One day, perhaps—one day..
The part about trace wasn’t quite honest.
They told me to work out. Go for long walks. And not so long. At one point I was handed this book, the first chapter started by telling me about a prime minister of a rich nation who had come out publicly with his depression and how everything turned out oh–so well with all the good help he got from family and friends. I put the book down. Boots too, mostly. None of it had any effect anyway.
Well, being out on a long walk was as nice as it got I suppose, but only because it meant being out of the house. The damn four walls and roof I so desperately needed to escape from time to time. Still, the hikes were as draped in black as everything else, more or less. On good days, ninety percent black.
Lately I haven’t been taking care to properly disguise my relationship with mr. Depression. The relationship that—for the last few years—seems to have had a hiatus, so until fairly recently there hasn’t been much to hide. At times I have even been tempted to think that D has left me for good but no—the bastard showed up again, hungry as ever. What goes up, must…
It’s been some years now since they told me to work out and go for walks, and handed me books. Much has changed since then. Most importantly, I’ve learned how to deal with mr. D. Or, maybe it’s myself that I’ve learned to deal with. Anyway, D no longer has the power he had before, the power to cover everything, absolutely everything, with his thick black curtain. I won’t claim not to notice him, in the corner of my eye, or that I’m able to ignore him completely but I can pause and question his actions, his influences. His authority. And—most importantly perhaps—allow myself a greater amount of the control.
This was the long intro to something much shorter.
Friday a couple of weeks ago I went for a hike. Friday a couple of weeks ago I had been covered in the all–too–familiar curtain, more or less, for some weeks. I didn’t count really. The hike wasn’t anything grand, just a few hours walk on the local mountain. Half an hour or so into it the dark curtain started to come apart. As if every step slowly but surely tore its threads, little by little, until nothing was left.
The difference between now and five years ago? Training, intense training in how to deal with the bastard, or myself?
And the magic of moving one foot in front of the other—sometimes.
Anything below –10° deserves a hug. A large, warm (sorry, meant cold of course), long hug. The kind to breath into, become one with.
–10°. I get all sentimental, just by looking at a number. I wonder if there are deals to be made with higher lower evil powers in order to maintain january temperatures throughout the year?
Not that january was generous this year, any more than previous years. A handful of days with temps below –5 was all we got. Makes me wonder what the use of living at 60°N and not even get a proper winter?
Then, cold summers have a thing or two going for them as well.
When you finally find your way out of the dirt you have long forgotten everything about the people you noticed or met down there.
I say this not as critique, hadn’t it been for this very fact you would never have made it out of there to begin with.
And when the time comes that you suddenly remember one of them again, that’s when you embark on your one–way trip down there again.
This time it is going to take a hell of a lot more to forget, you realize that. That’s not the reason why, but you will make no effort to fight what is happening.
Looking out the office window, everything is tilted. Not much, perhaps just a degree—or even less—but still. Unmistakenly tilted. As if the world is about to lay down on its side, to rest.
I can’t think of a good reason to ride my bike over there..
Hence, the benefit of the part time job—bike ride.
I should photograph more, when bike riding. Even if it messes up Strava times. This sounds as if I’m somewhat interested in how long it takes me to pedal from there to here, guess the truth is I am, even if I’d rather not admit it.
Anyway, today’s bike ride, according to Strava, was some 26km. Which is by no means a grand achievement, but it certainly feels a lot better than standing in front of the computer screen the whole day, on so many levels.
Here I am of course, standing in front of the computer screen.
Ride, photograph. (Taking notes.)
Collage artist Eunice Parsons.