I’ve lived in the past for a long time. I’m still living in the past and I’ve only recently come to realize it.
This April is two years since my father died of cancer and I’ve been depressed and angry ever since. When I am “okay” I think about it from an objective point of view by asking myself questions like…how long have I REALLY been depressed? Why do I feel angry? How did the death of my father lead me to where I am now? Did it lead me to where I am now? What is grief? How long does it last? Am I still grieving?
When I asked myself those questions I realized I’ve been sad and angry a lot longer than my dad’s death. I learned he had cancer on Valentines Day in 2010. I went inward. Even more inward. I subsequently expressed what I was feeling through photographs. I, of course, didn’t realize this until about a year later.
I took my anger out on Jeremy, my boyfriend at the time. Everything went downhill fast. My relationship, my mood and my plans. I had a conversation with Jeremy once that went like this:
Me: why are we fighting so much?
Jeremy: I don’t know. When do you think it started?
Me: about 6 months ago
Jeremy: you know what happened 6 months ago?
Jeremy: you’re dad was diagnosed with cancer
I know I keep bringing this up. It must get old reading about the same thing over and over. Carmen’s sad because her dad died…blah blah blah. Oh! Speaking of that (death) I had a dream last night that my family packed into a van and guess who was driving? My dad. Strange since the last dream I had of him we were in a camper and he was driving.
Getting back to my point. My depression does not just start with my father being diagnosed with cancer. I’ve made decisions over the past few years without really thinking about them first. I’ve always been someone who “goes with their gut” and although that has helped keep me safe along the way, something is missing. Completely. And I can’t seem to find it…but I see glimpses which is how I know it exists. It beckons me.
But, what’s missing? What am I doing wrong?
I had a conversation this week with a dear friend and he said I am “muted”. I thought about it and responded that I’ve always been muted. He said I’m meant for bigger things. I said I’m afraid and then he says “you’re the rabbit” and leaves for a moment to come back with this box titled The Peace Box (circa 1970) and upon opening the box I see the following books
The books are poems of sorts. Here’s a really good description of them: Peace, Love and Art and this, one of my favorite pages from the book I read titled “The Rabbit Box”.
“i was the nervous white rabbit of your arms. i didn’t deserve to be loved that much but you figured time was short & life was tricky and i guess it was fun sometimes or maybe i was in spite of myself less painful to you than most”
and this describes “the rabbit”
My sensitivity sees all things. I am the rabbit. I was even born in the year of the rabbit, whatever that means.
I think what I am reminding myself of here is to give myself a break. I don’t need all the answers and I may never have them. But, making love to every leaf that moves and crying over things remembered in dirty snow is something only few people can do. I am one of those people. Luckily for you I can capture those images with my camera and share them with you and then just for that single moment you too are looking at what I see that others can’t.