Grief · poetry · Writing

Ordinarily, I Just Blather

I lied
I promised a poem and blather
I may just blather
I won’t give you a poem
Not today
I can do this thing
Next Saturday


Yesterday, the prompt was “reversal” and, like an idiot, I all-too-quickly decided I would write a reverse poem. I used the word reversal instead of reverse because it actually shows up that way in the interwebs.

Last night I sketched out my idea — two opposing thoughts to put at each end with a few middle-ish words. This morning, I filled that page with words and arrows and crossing-things-out and carets to insert new words. It was a mess. It definitely needs more work.

So I got out my computer and stream-of-consciously wrote the intro to this post — which CAN be read forward and backwards, but it’s not really two opposing ideas.

Next Saturday, I hope to have a worthy poem to accompany my blather.

If we were having coffee this morning, I would bore you with all the new words and concepts I learned this week.

Check out this one: AESTIVATION. It has two definitions. In zoology, it’s a state of dormancy during hot weather, as compared with hibernation, which is that dormant state in cold weather. Snakes in the desert aestivate.

But the second definition is the one I fell in love with. In botany, aestivation is the arrangement of petals and sepals in a bud before it opens.

I love flowers

We have words for the coolest things.

I also learned the concept “Homo Faber” which means “Man the Maker.” One definition I found talked about man making tools to “control” their environment. I prefer to think about it more along the lines of Dorothy Sayers in her book The Mind of the Maker. There she talks about us being made in the image of God and the only thing we really knew about God at that point in the scriptures is that He created. We were made to be creative.

After my father passed away in 2019, I had some pretty serious struggles. In the spring of 2020, I found myself going for frequent walks to think — but more and more my thoughts were dark and morbid. Finally, I reached out for help and found a mental health counselor. We talked A LOT — and we still talk. I also admitted my struggles to my primary care provider who prescribed an anti-depressant. It helped, too.

There were a few times that I tried to wean myself off the anti-depressant, but quickly saw the dark road again. Then, this past fall, I found that I was forgetting to take it. I tried a bunch of different systems to help me remember, but none of them worked.

And the truth was that this time I was not seeing the darkness. Instead, I found myself feeling creative again. I mean, look at me! I’m writing here again!

I talked to my counselor about it. “I think I’m doing really well,” I told her. I showed her some of the Christmas gifts I had made — MADE — for my co-workers. “Do you think it’s okay if I just stop the anti-depressant? I promise to start again if I see the darkness or feel the darkness or have those dark, dark thoughts. I just refilled the prescription so I have a supply ready.”

She gave me her blessing — with a thousand caveats, of course, as I presume she must. She confirmed that the anti-depressant could also stifle creativity. I would have talked to my primary care provider, too, but she has since moved on to another city.

I say all this not to give my own blessing to anyone who stops taking a prescribed medication. Always have someone else in your loop who can monitor you and keep an eye on you!

I say all this because I feel alive again. Grief threw me into a period of aestivation. Now I’m ready for my petals to start opening.

This post has been brought to you by true Stream-of-Consciousness writing (thanks, Linda Hill). 49% of me says that I still have time to delete, but the 51% wins. I’m leaving the blather in the hopes it will be what someone else today needs to hear.

5 thoughts on “Ordinarily, I Just Blather

  1. Just realized this was an epic FAIL on the SoCS prompt. I was supposed to include “Once upon a time.” So…. Once upon a time, I said I would write a reverse poem and then blather. I lied. Or did I?”

  2. My depression has never needed medication, but therapy. Best choice I ever made for myself.

    For a good long while at the height of Covid it was not possible to do that. That was a tough spell.

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