Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Message from the ark

Yes, I'm still here. So, I've been thinking, a lot, about a lot things. Mostly though, I'm looking at the world, and trying to find some space in it for me. Thanks to a couple of really good friends, Siggy Crom and Charms, I was re-introduced to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle about two years ago. At the time, I'd been questioning my life and a reluctance to resort to meds to get me through the depression that comes on from time to time. My cognitive therapist had taught me a number of coping mechanisms and also how to more easily recognise the signs and mitigate in the situation. I felt that I was doing better but something was still missing.

Tolle filled that void. For the past two years I've been trying, with varying degrees of success to embrace the teachings and maybe, to live in the now. A week ago something happened that rocked my world and caused me to question, albeit briefly. Then, three days ago, in all the rain and the accompanying chaos, I discovered something. The truth, it's all a learning curve and you have to understand that you will not always be in a good place, but that's where you are, deal with it.

Watching the rain fall, it didn't seem like the weather was so different from any other day. Rain in Port of Spain, then the news started coming in from all over the country. Sequestered at the dockside Hyatt it all seemed remote; bridge washed out, collapsed trees, roads awash, traffic gridlocked, people stuck trying to get transport home, chaos. But rain in one place may mean floods somewhere else or worse, a life metaphor. One seemingly insignificant situation can bring about life changes and something that appears disastrous may become a blessing in disguise. So to borrow, instead of "I am ruined", face facts, "I have twenty dollars in my bank account until payday". How do I deal with this. When you cease to allow your thoughts to rule you, it all goes away.

One of the symptoms of depression are racing thoughts in your head and an inability to wind down making you irritable, leading to insomnia or the other extreme, not wanting to get up. Watching the not moving traffic the other night I wondered how many people felt that that was their life. Stuck in a lane not moving.

So to face facts, I don't know who I am anymore, but it's not important. What's important is to just be. Instead of railing about all the things that we cannot change, change one thing possible. Instead of beating myself up and trying always to walk the balance beam, live with honesty, no matter how painful. Do the best you can under the circumstances. Most of all, as exasperating as it is to sit in endless traffic jams and to watch the same mistakes being made over and over, understand that those situations may be part of someone else's learning curve.

And lastly, there is ALWAYS COFFEE


Gabriela García Calderón said...

Sometimes, when I walk by the street, I see the faces of toher pedestrians and think that I'll never get to know what problems they have. Sometimes I feel as if I'm drowning, and then realize that my problem probably is nothing compared to others's problems.
I'm glad to see you here again. I hope you can start feeling better, little by little. As you said, is important just to be. I try very hard to just be every day.

Marcus the Coffedude said...

Welcome back coffee. I must admit my thoughts were with you with that debacle downtown. I was actually more picturing you vaulting over overflowing drains fighting your way to the car and not contemplating life from a posh, dry hotel!

As per your observations, I do that a lot in trafiic. I wonder what's the 'backstory' of the person in the next lane. Single/married kids/marital problems/religious/public sector/likes books/likes soca/likes gospel/eats too much kfc??????....the musings are endless and likely wrong most of the time but it passes the time better than talk radio. Like an extended version of the REM everybody hurts video.

On my first trip to Caracas as a very, very young man I caught a glimpse of an extraordinarily beautiful young girl sitting all alone on the stoop of a run down house in a shanty. I wondered about her life and struggle to reconcile that beauty with the abject poverty around her. I have seen more stark examples of that since, esp. in Rio de Janeiro, but that particular image still haunts me.

Great post. Just goes to prove that you may never know exactly what angle the coffeewallah is going to take but you just know that it's going to be relevant and heartfelt.

Wuzdescene said...

I'm only now reading this .... a whole 4 days after it was posted ... its as if ... SOMEBODY knew .... that this post ... would be most relevant to me .... TODAY .... and guided me to it ....

Thanks Wallah