Despair and Bliss

Saturday 22 June 2013

Do not, when people tell you they are depressed and wish to die, regale them with reasons why the world is so beautiful that it is simply wrong for them to think that way.  It is true that the world is so beautiful, but the world is also brutal, nasty and despairingly flawed.  Try to resist propelling any repulsion you feel outwards but instead remember that you too will one day die, and that unless you are extremely lucky you too will one day feel this way.

If you tell them that they must stop feeling this way, it denies the black moon beauty that is found even within those spaces where we wish to be no more.  It denies the golden thread that runs through everything.  Leonard Cohen's crack runs very deep, right to the core.


Which is a tragedy, and an opportunity for Kelvin Cunnington, and also a fine, fine beauty.  Depending on what world you find yourself in.

The world to you bares her beauty.  You roll in her mists, and so you should.  The world to them is a differently made-up composition of chemicals and genetic mutations that make what you are saying not just a farce, but the fact that you would deny their experience to their face a slap and a travesty.

Stand Alone Complex by =Lucid-Light
When people tell you they are depressed and wish to die, take the beauty that you swim in in the world and try and creatively package it.  Not a mass-produced item, but instead take her moonlight and her sun and if you can, help them find out what it is that they love, what it is that they crave, what it is that they need so badly that it has pulled itself completely inside out and become its own opposite.  And if you can at all possibly do it, package it up into something just for them, and give it to them.  You may not be able to.  But if you can, do not expect the sort of response that you would receive if they were bathed themselves in moonlight.

You cannot fix anybody at all.  But you can accept them.  Acceptance of them may just help in some very small way for them to find acceptance of their own in being in this space, to see the deep beauty that exists even here. 

It is a paradox that making yourself at home in any space helps you to stop embedding yourself so hard into it, and might help you, in whatever way is required and possible in your situation, to begin the climb out again.


  1. This is a beautifully, poetically written post. At our Death Cafe last weekend, the conversation unexpectedly lingered around the topic of suicide, and it was quite a rich discussion. One woman brought up a story I hadn't thought about in a while - the Zen tale of the guy being chased by a tiger (do you know this story?) He ends up hanging from the side of a cliff holding onto a vine, and the tiger is below him waiting for him to fall, while above him he notices that mice are chewing through the vine. Then he looks over and notices a strawberry growing and picks it and eats it and thinks, "How sweet it is!"

    The woman's point in telling the story (and an angle I hadn't approached it from before) is that unless we have a strawberry, there is perhaps no reason to keep hanging onto the vine.

    1. Thank you, Susan. It sprung out of several things - the fact that both of these spaces have encompassed my week (and when I am in each space, it feels like I will never get out). And no, I don't think I'm bipolar. And it also sprung out of someone I am estranged from who has tried once again to unsuccessfully kill themselves. So it created a strange sort of space. The things that are most painful spawn the most poetic pieces of writing, don't they :)

      Ooh, sounds like a fertile and productive Death Cafe. And an interesting take on that story (which I haven't heard before).

      Yes. And though we are individualised beings who believe we are not affected by our culture, we are, even if it's just by osmosis. And if that culture tells us there are no strawberries in particular places and that you're a pathetic piece of poo for being there, then you may very well not see the strawberries.

    2. I guess if I were to drag the analogy to its ultimate idea for me, sometimes we can't see the strawberries because we are suffering too much, but that doesn't mean we won't see them later, or even that someone will come along and rescue us or we'll find a foothold for ourselves to climb up with. Having said that, I would never judge anyone's right to let go of the vine because I've come close myself. But one of the ways I have kept from that point is to keep looking for strawberries no matter how small. And yes when the chemicals and chronic infections bring in the orcs of despair to shoulder aside the mice and start on the vines with their axes, it is bloody hard to do.

    3. I love that, Keechy - the orcs of despair. It is bloody hard to do, isn't it.

      Sometimes the memory of the strawberries is enough to keep you hanging on. For those who don't, I feel sad for them but understanding at the same time. I think anyone who has felt these depths understands why people go through with it.

  2. Acceptance.

    Is this the loneliest and most misunderstood word?

    To accept, really accept, can build bridges, forge true friendships, is understanding without judgement, can enable people to heal and live healthier (mind and body) lives.

    Whatever the reason, whatever the consequences, acceptance = unconditional love.


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