Returning to the blog

I have not had the desire to write for a very long time.  Life on the farm continues in its peaceful way: we’ve moved from the greys and browns of early Spring, to the green lushness of present day Summer.  We’ve had scorchingly hot days, cool and mellow days, and days of torrential rain and lashing wind.  No matter what the weather is, the farm retains its transcendent  beauty.
Likewise, farm work also continues.  We added two Angora goats, and lost all our chickens, had the sheep sheared, and continued attempting to train Bowie. Cat came down with a virus and we almost lost him; Cat rebounded and returned to his nighttime adventures out in the woods and pastures.  The new barn cats settled in, and we are still working on evicting the pigeons in the hayloft.  Raised beds were built, seeds were planted and tended to, and now comes the glorious harvest and celebration of past work done.
All of the above percolated away; I was busy, busy, busy.  But, I was also sinking into a period of blackness.  I wasn’t entirely sure why I felt this way, day after day, but that’s what I felt.  And, just as depression tends to build slowly, the blackness descending bit by bit, extinguishing light or any sense of  light, so it lifts bit by bit.  Small moments of doing and grace, dropping here and there without any prompting, slowly brought me back from the gloom.
This poem has been tucked into my poetry folder for the longest time, and I found it again while searching for another poem, but I thought it expressed the journey I’d been on perfectly:
Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale by Dan Albergotti


Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days.
Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires
with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals.
Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices.
Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way
for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review
each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments
of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you.
Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound
of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart.
Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope,
where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all
the things you did and could have done. Remember
treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes
pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.

4 thoughts on “Returning to the blog

  1. Welcome back, Tara! I’ve missed you. Yes, depression does build gradually, so much so that one doesn’t realize how it encroaches and deadens the psyche (is that the word I want here?) I’ve felt more like a vacant lot waiting for something or someone to sweep away the weeds of bewilderment. Only my gardens have kept me sane in the early mornings, iced coffee and prayers with the birdies, books and Netflix in the afternoons. I’m sorry you lost all your chickens but happy with you in the acquisition of new angora goats. We all must remind each other that this, too, shall pass. Blessings to you, Tara.

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  2. Lovely to open up to a post from you. It’s a hard time. Glad you’re finding your way out of the gloom. I have so enjoyed your pictures from the farm. And glad that you finally had a visit from your kids! And are doing some teaching through your local library? The poem is perfect for now. So many lines to love – “Look each way for the dim glow of light,” is my favorite. My writing seems to be on a monotonous repeat thread, but it’s where I am in this season.

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  3. No matter how good things feel as if they “should” be good do not take away the true feelings. If it helps, I think many have those tough feelings, like Michelle Obama shared today, too. We are in it together, yet so often it still is not enough to life spirits. Ah, the parts of the poem I like are lines beginning with “Be thankful, ending with “rest and wait”. Hugs, my friend, for all of us to make better days ahead.

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