Thursday, November 19, 2009

If you knew I was sad, would it make a difference?

Life upon return from Ireland hit hard and fast. I find myself rising and falling like the rhythms of the ocean. Sometimes the waves are gentle and I float as though on a blowup mattress in the middle of a still Oklahoma lake. Other times, I feel as though I have been slammed by a giant Tsunami – shaking myself off and gasping for air from the force of the hit.

I have been lonely here at Diamonds. Not sure if my readership is down, if my topics are not engaging or if people are just plain busy – or maybe I sound so content you don't realize I crave your company and comments. So, I ponder the question in the post title… If you knew I was sad, would it make a difference? Would you make a little more effort to comment if you knew I needed it? Would you stop and speak to a co-worker or a child or a stranger if you thought your comfort would make a difference? I wonder how often I settle for the pat answer when someone responds with a standard, “I’m fine?”

I wonder about people’s interior journeys (those who confide in me and others I pass on the streets), realizing I can only know a fraction of their stories – if that much. We are complex beings and have a capacity to present many faces to the world. Does showing joy when grief lurks inside (or vice versa) discount either emotion? I ask, because, the waves that follow me these days are somewhat confusing. I feel both the gentle rocking of comfort as well as the motion sickness of constant movement. I find it near impossible to answer the question, “How are you?” for the water that washes my spirit clean and gently holds the raft upon which I float is the same element that threatens to drown me and take away my breath. The two cannot be separated for they flow in and out of each other like waves moving against the shore – both gentle and wild. Hmmmm.Anybody else ever feel confused by two seemingly contradictory emotions that flow in and out simultaneously? Reminds me of the old lyric “hurts so good”…or maybe not. I’d love to hear your thoughts (but a simple hello works, too).

ireland brook ©2009
dublin river ©2009


Sue said...

I have this tendency to think that everyone else is always fine and dandy and having these wonderful lives where they never feel sad or lonely the way I do. WTH is all that about?

Your blog is one of my favourites, Lucy :)

I totally get that carrying two seemingly contradictory emotions simultaneously, yeah. I have been various forms of griefstricken over the past several years and yet also underneath there is a joy that has nothing to do with anything else.

I could go on for about 23 more paragraphs about paradoxical simultaneous emotions, sigh

Barbara said...

I only comment if I have something I think is relevant to say. I have no Irish blood and feel a tad alienated in a Celtic surround -- not hostile, just odd. So I have nothing to add to your poetic musings on your recent pilgrimage. I stand kind of clueless on the periphery, but no bother.

It would make a difference to know you are sad. If I am sad, I tell people so that my behaviour is not misinterpreted. People then sometimes reach out and lift some of my sadness. At least that works for me.

About your inner turbulence, maybe it is just the disorientation of being back home again after a spiritual high.

Oh, yes, hello. ;) And sometimes silence from me is better.

speck of dust said...

I was hit with the most awful depression after a wonderful and quite spiritual and very peaceful holiday in the summer. I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling sad now. Your posts always make me think deeply. I love your metaphors, connecting the sea with emotions. I very much relate to this. I went down to the beach for the first time in a while the other day when the sea was very grey and very rough. It looked so different from the sea in summer that it wasn't like the same sea at all. It's a lesson I have learned to let the changes come and go.

Susan Carpenter Sims said...

I am absolutely in the same boat! I've been having these waves of joy and inspiration followed by sorrow and a sense of meaninglessness, and yet underneath it all, I'm solidly just present.

I've been feeling guilty today because there are so many comments I need to leave for people whose blogs I care about and support. But I just have not been in the headspace to do it. Until now.

With this post you've penetrated into the space where I was languishing. So thank you for honesty.

I remember once hearing contradictory emotional states referred to as "rainbow moods." Kind of a redemptive way to view it, I would say.

Maureen said...

I visit to read each new post, though I don't always leave a comment. I think all of us with blogs want comments, because they're affirmations of time we've spent to put out words that we want to matter; to expect them with each post, though, is not, I think realistic. Lack of comments doesn't mean we aren't being read. I write, even when days go by without a comment, because writing is filling and opens me out to people I might otherwise never meet. Even making just one soul-connection is worth the time.

You write beautifully, honestly, poetically and often about things I've not experienced. So I learn from you. I discover others' writing through your "Take a Peek", find books to enjoy, and get inspired often by the art, the creativity, the community that grows up because of your shared words and worlds shared.

May your spirits lift soon. And, as John O'Donohue has written:

". . .May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul. / . . . May your gravity be lightened by grace./
. . . May your thoughts incline with reverence and
respect./ . . . So free may you be about who you become . . . ."

Prairie Girl Wanderer said...

Hello Lucy :-)
Thank you for putting into words what I experience ALL the time. Emotions and interior journeys can be more that one thing and at times a bit of a paradox and your blog today let me know I am not the only one experiencing this. Thanks for sharing.

kigen said...

Lucy, other sites I read seem sort of sad too, and I was thinking that today, how much melancholy was setting in. If I knew you were sad, how I could I not comment, though, whether it was the season not to be jolly or whatever. What makes Diamonds so special? Your wisdom, your cackle, your poetry, your hospitality, your fire!

Kayce aka lucy said...

i would take this quick response as a resounding "yes" to my question. it has definitely brought some smiles to my face today... as well as companionship and shared wisdom.

thank you thank you thank you for the kind words, blessings, musings, and most especially for your TIME to stop by and say hello. it really means a lot to me :-) peace, gentle readers!

Susan Carpenter Sims said...

I just have to point out an interesting connection for me with Maureen's comment.

The other day at the library, I was browsing in the 291 section and a book caught my eye because of its title. I picked it up and opened it randomly, and what I read related EXACTLY PERFECTLY to the post I'm working on. The book was Anam Cara, by John O'Donohue. I had never heard of him before, but am now deeply smitten.

Sorrow said...

the title caught me,
for you see i read you in my reader more often than not.
Not coming here to this space.
and I am more about the encouraging brush of my hand at all times, but The concentrated focus of my care when some one says " please, I need"
so what does that say?
that I stopped and left a bit of light because You asked?
I care, wether I am leaving words or not,,,

Kel said...

it wouldn't make a difference
well, it shouldn't :-)

if I don't comment for a time, it may mean many things, but never that I don't care

sometimes life is such that taking time to read and respond to blogs in a thoughtful manner cannot take priority

that's all

Rebecca Johnson said...

Lucy, This is so strange. I wrote a nice long post this afternoon (really it might have been too long) and now when I check back in, it's not here. And of course, now I have no idea what I said! : )

I do know that I said that one of the things that we keep learning on the spiritual journey is to ask for the things that we need from our friends and our community. So, for me, if someone says, I am lonely. Can you pop over? I do my best to try to be present for them.

Also, I said that some of the feelings that you are writing about is very reminiscent of what Gerald May talks about in his book Dark Night of the Soul.

I said all of this WAY better the first time, but now it's bedtime! : )

Thanks for asking your heartfelt question.


kate i said...

Lucy, I read all of your posts but don't always leave a comment...sometimes I really don't feel that I have anything interesting to contribute (not that I don't find your posts interesting), sometimes I just don't have the time, and sometimes my energy level (which I struggle with) in just too low to both read and leave a thoughtful comment.

I'm sorry you're feeling sad and I'm sending cyber hugs your way. I hope life treats you gently and that you're gentle with yourself too.


emma said...

“Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful.” -- Lao Tzu

Love to you always

Anonymous said...

First, I find, sadly, that yes, people tend to comment more when we're expressing negative emotions...the psychology of that?

Second, I have not been a good commenter at ALL lately and for much the same reason you write this post. As you may know, I am still trying to recover from my trip to Kripalu, still trying to assimilate everything I went through and learned and discovered, and yes, just feeling way too complex and confused for words most of the time. :)

hmmbrd said...

I've been trying to step away from my computer for awhile now. Just on for small bits of time. I do, however always check to see if you've posted and am always glad to read and reflect on your words.
You write because you MUST...and we are blessed.
I hope your sorrow lightens!

Abbey of the Arts said...

blessings dear friend, the assimilation of new openings revealed on a pilgrimage takes much time and it is very normal to feel sadness. last summer i came home from my five weeks away and hit a wave of depression that knocked me off my feet for a while. this time my re-entry has been gentler, but I know there are many things stirring beneath the surface. glad your readers are here to support you, as am I.

Abbey of the Arts said...

PS - may tonight be filled with an experience of abundance, I know your participants will be deeply blessed by the experience.

Kayce aka lucy said...

"it is no so much our friends' help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us." -- epicurus

you have greeted me beyond my wildest dreams. i hope you'll pop back in today (or soon) and see a fuller response in my post, "blessed by risk".

gratefully yours... xoxoxo

Dianna Woolley said...

HI - me too:)! Great comments from your fans.