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Awareness

31 Jul

I see sunshine and beautiful colors

I was talking to someone the other day who suffers from clinical depression.  It was a fascinating talk, for me at least.  The thing is, I have no frame of reference with that particular malady.  I can’t wrap my brain around that kind of darkness of the soul, the almost crippling nature of it, the hopelessness of it.

Yes, I am a recovering alcoholic and yes, there have been days when life seemed cumbersome at best, but I always knew that if I just stopped drinking, if I could find the help to get me started on a clean life, I could turn things around and life would be sunshine and lemonade once more.  I never truly felt like there was no hope for me. I never felt the overwhelming, oppressive weight pressing down on me, leaving me incapable of even getting out of bed on any particular day.

What does that have to do with writing?  It’s just food for the idea gristmill.  At some point I’m sure it will come in handy.  What it mostly is, though, is a realization, on my part, of just how different we all are while at the same time so similar.  We humans are complicated animals for sure.  If you want a lesson in writing tossed in, make sure your characters are complicated as well.

On the flip side, and I laugh when I say this, I can’t wrap my brain around the Pollyannas of the world.  I will never understand the constant good moods of people like that, how they always manage to see a silver lining in the worst of circumstances, and how they are always smiling.  That just doesn’t register with me.  I’m not finding fault in it at all, but when I’m around the Perpetually Happy folks, it always leaves me with a sense that I must be broken, that there is something profoundly wrong with my personality profile.

While someone else sees darkness and muted colors

IS THERE A POINT, BILL?

I guess what I’m trying to point out, in my own circuitous way, is that my muse is always taking notes. She is always observing, and she is always questioning.  I suppose that has given me a valuable tool as a writer.  I do know people who don’t notice things like that at all.  They have very few introspective moments, seeming to be about as deep as a mud puddle with regards to philosophy and sociology and other studies of the human species.  The word shallow comes to mind when I think of them, but perhaps that is a bit too judgmental of me. My humanness is showing again, I’m afraid.  The fact is I simply do not understand them.  It seems odd to me that they wouldn’t notice the things that are so obvious to me, but then I’m sure they find me a bit strange as well.

A NEW GUARD DOG

Out at the farm (Bev’s son’s goat farm where we keep our 100 chickens) there is a new addition, a two-year old guard dog.  Her name is Sasha and she is part St. Bernard and part Anatolian Shepherd.  A big dog for sure, seemingly a gentle giant, but I would hate to tangle with her. I’ve seen her breed in action, on YouTube, taking on a bear.  A BEAR!!!!  And not backing down one bit.

Sasha loves me.  I spend quite a bit of time with her when I’m out at the farm, just rubbing her ears and talking to her.  She puts her massive head in my lap, drools all over me, and more often than not slips into semi-conscious mode . . . but if you pay attention to her eyes, she never really stops scanning the farm looking for predators. She is always on alert.

I pity the next coyote who decides to walk onto the farm in search of a cheap meal.  That coyote is in for a very unpleasant surprise.

And yes, I’ve known people like Sasha.

My muse is a lot like Sasha.  She never takes a vacation. She is always on alert for the next inspiration.

Kinda cool!

Have a great week!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”