A sudden realization, as if someone had entered a room in which I
thought I was alone: I am feeling better. I am excited that today is
a bread baking day and I feel like baking bread, excited that we have
a clothesline and I feel like hanging laundry. The season is changing
and I am eager for the change. The travel schedule that looked so
daunting a few weeks ago is upon me now, and I am glad to go, glad
that we live near a train, glad to meet good people in other parts of
this great country. It is as if an unwelcome in-law had just
departed, and I finally have the house to myself. And I guess that's
exactly what has happened.
That's the way it is when depression clears. The heavy weight of
being brave in the midst of it falls from your shoulders, and all the
energy it took to carry it is suddenly at your disposal again.
Sudden, but not abrupt, at least not in my case: I just realize that I
am different today from the way I was a week or so ago, the way I've
been for months now.
It was not the case that I enjoyed nothing during this time. No, no:
a good lunch, a good joke, a good play, a hug -- those things were all
good. But an underlying darkness showed through, like an unprimed
dark wall intrudes persistently under light paint. And now? Light.
Air. Thank you. Thank you.
I know it will not always be light and air. There's darkness in the
world, and my depression is part of that. But there is light and air
today, and so I will seize it. So should you: if you see the world
and love being in it, hold onto that delight. Embrace it with your
whole heart today. Other times will come when you may not be able to
Apropos of this, you can read more in my most recent book, Jesus
Wept:When Faith and Depression Meet. Available at www.amazon.com.
And you might want to enroll in a weeklong course by the same name,
which I will be teaching this January at General Theological
Seminary's Center for Christian Spirituality in New York City. Call 212-243-5150