Good morning, darling boy.
I'm not surprised to find despondence elbowing it's way in and casting a shadow over my inner landscape. It is a natural symptom of sorrow. It beckons me to settle into a state of inaction. It grips me like a drain at the bottom of a pool, holding me down in that breathless place in an unbreakable vacuum, immobilized. It is not the time to surface and return to the busyness of life. It's not the time to walk away from this place of mourning. I worry about lingering too long in the depths without a breath, without a break. It seems a short slide from sorrow into abject depression - something I really would rather not do again.
Self-care, self-love, and patience with this whole process are my only compass points as a navigate this unmarked terrain. Surviving takes applied effort, spiritual energy, and time. The body, mind and spirit need food and nutrients to recover fully from the deep wound of your death, Thor. Creativity is the best existential nourishment I've found. I can find the mental and physical energy to engage in actions that result in something beautiful, nurturing or useful. Any effort, or even lack of effort when I rest, is oriented toward healing, conscious living, and love.
So when despondency wants to keep me immobilized for a while, it's best not to fight. Resistance here only breeds anxiety. My job is to lean in and inquire into it, "What is revealed here?" Amazing to me, despondency has a purpose. It keeps me from running away from the pain of the work in front of me. It forces me to move slowly and stay put a while longer as my heart continues to expand in empathy and love. It disallows me to run headlong into the world when I have no bearings and no idea of what I want to do once there. It tethers me to the bottom of the well of grief with a lead just long enough to catch a little air and a short break now and then before pulling me back. I am captive in its inexorable pull. I am a ward of its power and live moment to moment in its wake. When I need to breathe, and the weight of despondency is so thick that my legs don't want to move, and anxiety takes over because I have so many things "to do", I get up and do one thing. Just one thing, even if it is as small as washing my coffee cup or feeding the fish. Somedays one thing done will lead to another thing like taking a walk or cooking a meal. Somedays I write. Somedays I cry a lot.
A friend gave me some sourdough starter which is now a pet project. Keeping the wild yeast alive and getting it to leaven a loaf of whole grain spelt is quite intensive. Tinkering with the grains and condition of the dough as it transforms through enzymatic processes from a grain mash to bread is more than a distraction. Planting seeds in the greenhouse and cultivating the earth is more than mere yard work. Feeding the fish, coloring seashells and writing poetry are all so much more that activities to pass the time. Meditation and Hatha Yoga and taking long walks with the camera in tow are more than exercises to manage the physical strains of stress. Cooking meals for your brothers and you dad is more than just a daily chore on my to-do list. I meet friends for lunch or dinner as a small step toward re-entry. All of these activities express a higher calling and purpose; first, I can do them here in grief where I live right now, and second, they are inspired by the need to create, nurture and serve others.
Since you died, and I was tossed into the crucible of grief, I am less willing to live in disharmony. Bit by bit the inner landscape is reforming to accommodate a new way of being that is rooted in "I Am" and underscored by Love. One of my favorite things to use is a Tibetan singing bowl. It will resonate with a rich harmonic hum when the striker rolls around the rim at just the right angle. These days I am living and being in each moment more mindfully. I roll my thoughts, actions and words (the strikers) around the rim of a simple precept (the bowl); Does this bring more love and light to the world?
Does it hum in harmony? If yes, then okay.
And so this journey unfolds day by day, revealing a deeper understanding of what is real. Today despondency is upon me, but I am content to be with it in the depths for as long as it takes. It is sorrow that leads me here, and I am not afraid. All of this is experience is temporary and changing like the weather. I just have to wait for the clouds to shift. They always do.
I love you,