Friday, February 27, 2009

The Material and The Spiritual

My friends Jack, Melissa and I have been gathering for lunches on Fridays at the coffeeshop. Jack and I are sometime writing partners. However, we were both pretty lame last year about actually writing anything, so we sort of stopped. Now, we have started again with short assignments. Two pages. This week's theme was The Material and The Spiritual. Here is what I wrote in my little notebook.

(I showed it to my friend Chris later and he said, "I don't know whether you wrote this because you're depressed or whether you're depressed because you wrote this."

Probably both.)

Let's say that humans have a soul, or some tangible, spiritual, ethereal self. Let's say this is a conscious self also that is reincarted many times, without memory, into may different bodies and lives.

We know that from our observations, the universe tends toward chaos, toward entropy. This is true of the universe and its expansion, of decay and erosion on earth, and also of our bodies. Our bodies slowly break down and erode until they fail and die, so the soul moves on.

If entropy is true of the entirety of the universe, then wouldn't it stand to reason that it also holds true for the soul?

Entropy manifests itself in the body in a slow breakdown of organ function, a drying up of skin elasticity. It take years or even a lifetime.

How does entropy occur in the soul? I have heard that there are "old" souls, and this makes sense. But it also makes sense that old souls are identifiable by a maturity, a melancholy, a sadness that has no tangential relationship to that particular body, lifetime, or experience.

Perhaps depression is an indication of a soul's aging and entropy. The soul breaks down in the body and decays. This causes the body to need more sleep and causes depression symptoms like not looking forward to anything, inability to enjoy life.

What if depressed people have souls nearing the end of their cycle? How do souls stop the endless iterations of life and bodies and experiences?

Maybe they can't. Or maybe this is one explanation for why people kill themselves [I am not suicidal]-- they somehow know that this will make things stop, not just for this turn in the cyle, but STOP.

If there is a God, then does God also tend toward entropy? A topic for another day...

What is eternity? A bird's wing can cause the most undetectable kind of erosion when it tips the edge of a mountain. Perhaps the entire universe is slowly decaying at a rate that will take eternity.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

See? Already I can't update this.

I don't know what to say.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bubble Berry Pie

Most of the blog titles I liked were already taken: blueberry pie, bumbleberry pie, blueberry bubble gum, bubbleberry pie.

The only explanation for why I like these blog titles is the "b" sounds. That's it.

I didn't want to choose anything resembling my real name this time. Not because of privacy issues-- I'm far too big-mouthed for that. I am not trying to conceal my identity here, but I'm sure it will come up. It's because I am trying to create something a little new here, even if my blog posts end up sounding exactly the same as they did on my old blog.

I have to look at a new page, a new place. I just needed something new.

It has taken me months even to be able to create just this. You have no idea how hard it was to post this, how resistant I have been even to doing it.

Part of the reason it was hard for me to begin blogging again is that everything is hard these days. Getting out of bed is the hardest. I can sleep for twelve hours and still want to take a nap later when faced with the prospect of cooking dinner or washing dishes.

Yes, I know this means I am depressed. Last night, I was recounting to friends the fact that when my doctor initially diagnosed me with depression, I started to cry. I was crying because it seemed OBVIOUS to me that I was depressed-- but depression wasn't, I thought at the time, the problem that needed to be fixed.

Apparently, I was wrong.

I still take anti-depressants, but sometimes life whammies you anyway. I suppose I could ask for a new pill or a larger dose, but that just seems like effort to me. Here is what I think: In Anne Lamott's great book Operating Instructions, she tells the story of a friend who has a sick cat. The cat lies in a puddle, in the middle of a great rain, and doesn't move. People want to take the cat to the vet. Someone stops them and says, "The cat is doing what it needs to be doing right now. If you move it, it will die."

Sure enough, after a few days of lying in the puddle, the cat is fine.

I am doing the human equivalent of lying in that puddle. I know my head is up my ass. But that is where it seems to need to be. And whenever I try to take major steps to get myself out of the puddle or take myself to the vet, some small voice tells me that I am exactly where I need to be, doing what I need to be doing. I can pay my bills, I care for my children, I shower, the dishes get done. There is just a tremendous amount of sleeping in between.

Isn't it funny how even though there is not a whole lot going on, I finally decided to write about it?