Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness
"But it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, which, by often rumination, wraps me in the most humorous sadness"
--Shakespeare (As You Like It)
Writer Elizabeth Moon wrote a lovely blog posting some years ago about the common instances of depression among writers. I don't often use this blog to turn inwards, but every once in a while is okay, I suppose. There have been two traits that have been with me as long as I can remember: my love of reading and writing and my recurring depression. As a child, escaping into stories—whether written by someone else or the product of my own imagination—was my way of coping with the sadness that surrounded me, so often without any real reason.
I bring this up because my depression has reared its ugly head in the week since I've arrived in Las Vegas. The drive here involved an entire day of driving on hard-packed, unsalted, unplowed snow and ice in New Mexico, which drove my stress levels through the roof. I came down with an atrocious cold that took my voice and gave me stabbing pains in my ears. And since then I have been living in a hotel because my mortgage company has delayed my house closing (I have now been in escrow for nearly 60 days). Of course these might be described as "First-World Problems," and they are. In the grand scheme of things, they are short-term and relatively minor issues.
But I have found myself in a haze—unable to think clearly, certainly unable to write. I have been listening to the audio book of Stephen King's The Stand, which is not as successful at driving off my depression as The X-Men comic books were in my junior high days. But it is, to say the least, giving me some perspective. After all, what is a delayed house closing compared to being a deaf mute boy who is beaten terribly? What is a cough and an ear ache compared to "tube neck?" So my mood is still fairly dark, but long years of experience have given me the tools to dig my way out. I will buy Christmas presents, I will listen to a good book, I will edit (yet another) god-awful non-fiction diatribe. And then I will finish Isabella's story. I am very, very close. It's just a matter of letting my mind wander enough...to go and live in her world for a while