In Need of Replenishment
Over recent weeks I have spent dark days Lethargically slumped over my writing desk I have been feeling dispirited and dull My concentration has gone and I am now prone To frequent, unpredictable mood changes For days now I have felt indifferent decidedly irritable and if you so much as looks at me I am likely to snarl viciously and Aggressively demand to know why, just because I teach people how to write Everyone expects me to be an accomplished writer What could someone With a banal daily life like mine Possibly have to write In verse or prose for that matter? Of what consequence Are my sporadic, deranged mutterings? It has all been a façade, a masquerade all done with smoke and mirrors This proliferation, this sudden invasion of my organs this debilitating infection of my brain has left me suffering from a chronic, torpor It is an effort even to raise my pen I am suffering from daytime insomnia exhausted by periods of sleep-like unconsciousness And fear I will slip into a deep coma wither and die of sleeping sickness Sleeping sickness? First described in the fourteenth century when Sultan Djata of the Kingdom of Melli was stricken by a lethargy that killed him Only methodical destruction of the tsetse flies habitat repelled the spread but now, centuries later a fresh reservoir of blood lies unprotected Only a vigilant mobile surveillance system with specialized staff using effective diagnostic tools and improved field control strategies Will repel this resurgence control this vigorous strain of sleeping sickness causing neurological impairment in lonely writers and artists all over the world I wrote this many years ago when I was summoning the courage to face each day with my husband who was battling bowel cancer. Over recent months the malaise has taken a grip and I have found myself in a trough. An article in 'The Age' today talks about how Australians dealt with the financial crisis. It says that "we painted on a happy face, popped a few pills then buried our sorrows in booze and junk food." I am too staid to turn to pills or bury my sorrows in booze or junk food but there is no doubt that I have 'painted' my face and told people I was okay. The more harrowing it became the more time I spent immersed in the creative arts. And, there is no doubt that this helped me keep up appearances. Then one day the color seemed to fade and things that had sustained me no longer had any meaning. The day the color faded was the same day that it hit me that no matter what I did, no matter where I went, no matter how I tried to fill in the hours, the most important person in my life was not going to come back. I would like to think that I will establish a variety of relationships and find companionship that nourishes me but first I have to treat this recurrent malaise. A dear online friend has written to share some advice. She says that when she succumbs to this illness she heads to the nearest travel bureau and collects every pamphlet in the case, then to the library to look up every scenic, historic or artistic location in her state, and lastly to a directory of every museum within 300 miles. Armed with maps she circles places of interest she would like to visit, like a nights stay at the Ken monastary. After due consideration she says to GO, even if it is only a spa in your town. YOU ARE AN ARTIST, she tells me AND ALL ARTISTS NEED REPLENISHMENT. Jane was widowed some years ago and is a wise crone. Perhaps it is this simple.