Saturday, May 3, 2008

~ he clucked like a chicken

I’ve needed a break from writing – I guess that’s why you haven’t been hearing from me.

I’ve been rewatching The Sopranos. After Tony was shot, much was made of a quotation someone pinned to the wall of his hospital room.

‘Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while, a great wind carries me across the sky – Ojibwe saying.’

It took me a while to sort out the meaning.

I worry that those who read what I write will feel that I pity myself. Let me assure you, I don’t. The emotion is far harsher than that. I allow myself no mercy, no pity. I squarely take the blame, and with every day, I feel diminished. As if consumed by an acid of self-loathing. As if my shadow, once sharp and dark, is now frayed, pale and greying, as if the sun itself is aware that the centre has been eaten out.

I move like a ghost through neat suburban thoroughfares. No advertising is targeted at me. I am excluded, meaningless. The language I speak is a forgotten dialect; my areas of interest are obscure and incomprehensible.

The cycles I have spoken of so often are repeating themselves. What can I do to put a spanner in the gears? Where can I go to feel that everpresent wind of which the Ojibwe? Where can I go to make meaning of what remains of my life?

I am trapped by my wife and her habits – over which I seem to have lost all control; which have whipped their sinewy tentacles around my pale, moribund, directionless flesh - all it takes is a nudge for me to lose my footing.

And lose my footing I have. I strive for traction every day and every day, in some way, I slip. Perhaps tomorrow … the centre will hold …

I am trapped by fatherhood, which gives me glimpses of the happiness I yearn to feel more often. Polly has her friend Mia sleeping over tonight. I entertained them by pretending that I did not snore like ordinary people when I slept, but clucked like a chicken.

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Anonymous said...

I too ride those waves, endure those cycles. I watch my child and wonder how it will scar her to have a sometimes-sad mother. The only thing we can do is to hold on, wait, and try to treasure those small moments of grace. And to remember always, that no matter what, our children are better off with us alive.

lian said...

My daughter's friend Paula, a lovely Italian girl, is going to have a sleep over this weekend at our home. I really hope I can entertain them like you did, which was very sweet.


Dave said...

Depression: I call it cancer of the soul. I wish I could offer you some comfort, but that's in short supply in this harsh 21st century. All I have is a few words.

We have a lot in common, including a few people - long ago in different lives. I found your blog researching my own past - but though we never knew each other and only met once in passing in the 90s, I've always felt that the world is a better place from having Sam Sejavka in it.

You may doubt that, but I'm sure of it. Here I am haunting my own suburban nowhereland, not too far from yours. I feel like a veteran of a war that most people haven't even heard of.

And you managed to express that feeling, that alienation I feel so often, and it moved me. We have a lot in common, but we're very different people. Yet, for what it's worth, what you say in this post is meaningful to me, and I've found this whole blog, all you've written here, meaningful. Perhaps even helpful. I think so.

Perhaps you are the ancient Mariner, and the Sails of Oblivion are set fair, but I thank you for your tale anyway. I appreciate it.

Ann O'Dyne said...

Dear Sailor: please please try watching Marx Brothers movies instead of those depressiion-enhancing Sopranoes.
'Duck Soup' in particular, is brilliant satire.

Failing that, the most intelligent and brilliant film I have seen lately is Hot Fuzz - just brilliant. no sexornudity so safe while children are in the house.
HF parodies every British film ever, and uses some of the actors from those very films - specifically Edward Woodward and The Wicker Man.
You will laugh.
mwah mwah

lily was here said...

You're doing pretty well Sam! Make the most of the highs and just remember that the lows are shortlived.

Someone told me this week that fish oil tablets in high doses can help rid negativity (along with all its other benefits)!

But it also does terrible things to your breath :)