Deaf Dog!

I guess this is hypomania

Posted in Uncategorized by Heather on March 6, 2011

Depression is my garden three seasons fallow. Morning glory and insidious ivy choking down everything green and good.

It’s hard to start. It’s so far gone, I just want to chuck it and start over. And my guilt over poor Abue’s little grave is so immense that I can’t even look at first.

Everything I built is ruined. It’s not even that bad getting well, though I will complain incessantly. What kills me is having to fix all of my disasters.

I’m glad that I have therapy on Tuesday. I find myself rehearsing my appointments ahead. I think I will say, “I don’t know your stance on allegory, but I went to the garden.”

I picked the smallest, easiest bed and knelt in the rain. Immediately, I was happier. It’s easier than I remembered. You just choose one square foot and that’s all you worry about until there’s nothing left to worry about. Then you move on.

With every weed I pulled, the whole looked better and new hopeful little buds became apparent. The garden wants to live. I only have to help it a little. This is not to say that there weren’t some disasters. The peonies may have been smashed beyond repair.  The clematis wasn’t tended and looks terrible. The buddleia is covered with aphid scars, yet it buds at the base. I missed the azalea this year. I’m a little sad about that.

The forsythia and the red-flowering quince are budding. That’s something to look forward to. I had forgotten about them completely.  When I finished the small bed, I felt powerful so I moved directly to the horrible, stumpy weed tree that is my Ragnarok. I busted out the bypass pruners and started nipping off green twigs and unraveling the glories. From there it seemed best to take on the grave.

Once the weeds and vines were removed, hyacinth and jonquil could be seen poking gingerly up from the cedar. It was an overwhelming relief to see that they took. I’ve been lucky. I snipped the hips off the little pink rosebushes and examined the canes. I emptied Abuelita’s little monkey water dish and placed it where I hoped it wouldn’t be in the way.

The glories will be horrible this summer. It’s lucky that their cotyledons are so distinctive.  Even so, I’ll be fighting them for years.

I went to the back yard and scooped eight gallons of compost from the worm bin. I saw no worms. A lethal combination of hard winter and my complete inattention. I do feel bad about this. I resolve to buy worms this week. My meds doctor always asks about my spending. It occurs to me that this is a strange expense to justify.

The backyard is largely untouched by me. I use it primarily to store soil amendments. Weeding makes me wistful. I long for things I didn’t include in my plans for the front yard.  Lilac, bluebells, ice flower, lily of the valley, bleeding heart.

I’m freezing and soaked. I stop at The Bruckner for lunch and fellowship then toddle off to the studio to make forty shirts of Skwid and the microscope.

At 6pm, I feel that old jangly mania. Instead of feeling proud of what I accomplished today, I can only feel this zooming urge to do even more. I want to do a million things, all of them tonight. Design a label for my shirts. research screens, learn to make websites, make gnocchi, do all my laundry, draw … insanity. I talk to my Dad about it. Before I would just enjoy the elation and stay up all night swept up in a project. Now it scares me when I feel this way.

Because it is a truly nasty night, I resolved to order in pizza, shower and watch a movie. Evening pills, feed the cats, bedtime. These are reasonable ways to spend your evening.

On Saturday, I saw The Fountain show with Mr. Brady and (better by far) Duke Riley’s show in Chelsea. I admit leaving Riley’s show with quite an art crush. I want to go back again and visit. Apart from being damned clever, his work ethic is incredible. I love his drawings and have been percolating with ideas ever since.

Today I want to do a series of sneakily autobiographical paintings of my mood disorder. The morning glories that strangle everything, the poppies, my dreams of the hammock snapping, and the little dog ghost that lives in the roses. A single black star. Hourglasses, broken bottles and so many pills. I hope I still want to do this tomorrow.

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