It is possible to write about depression while being deeply depressed, but I suppose its the drugs that make that possible, providing that dull space into which one can attempt to organize thoughts and emotions.
Depression is about loss. I could stop there and leave it at that. Its all about irrevocable loss, like in KIll Bill when Bill tells his daughter that once one has done something one finds that it cannot be undone. A bad simile inasmuch as much loss is to do with death. The dead have or have not an idea about the loss they leave behind them and man o man, that loss there is nothing to do about. Then one has the loss of loved ones through neglect and abuse that neither can be turned into a hollywood production with everyone dancing away happily at the end. Action and its consequences are permanent. It leaves permanent scars, both those inflicted on others and those inflicted on oneself.And with accumulation it all turns into a black hole sucking away the energy of life, the energy one otherwise would pour into the tricky business of living.
And it echoes, bounces off the walls, crazed. There is nothing static about it. Its as active a hell.It is vengeful and malvolent.It never stands still. It is ones own actions and that of others, all lost, tormenting one.
And as much as one would like to, there is no going back, because things are in constant flux and the thing one wants to go back to no longer exists in the form one needs to go back to. There is the possibility that one can catch up, and that is possibly the one great reason for carrying on and fighting the depression, getting out of that black hole.The possibility of redemption through action, a form of purgatory on earth. And that is with the living. Communion with the dead is another matter entirely, or as T.S. Eliot would put it – The language of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living – the crucial word being beyond. Striving for that beyond, lifting oneself up to match it, is an almost impossible task, and that is what Eliot most likely called that condition of absolute stillness in the middle of a turning world.Try that who may.
Howard Gamble, 11th August 2012