“To a farmer dirt is not a waste, it is wealth.” Amit Kalantri
One night when we were teenagers my friend Jeff jumped in front of a train because he thought it was the best way to handle things at the time. A group of us had gone to the movies and as usual Jeff was out of control drunk. After another argument with his mother, a recovering alcoholic, he made his way to the tracks and waited.
Somehow he didn’t die but only broke his pelvis, and he continued to drink as heavily as before. He had his problems: two alcoholic parents, one who shot himself playing Russian roulette and a couple of missing fingers from a homemade bomb explosion, but which one caused such deep depression? Maybe all of them or maybe something else.
I lost touch with Jeff in my late twenties and watched other friends attempt to handle their depression in various ways. Most drank and did drugs as I did, and as time went by several ended up dead. After a breakup with his girlfriend my friend Cary tied a bayonet to his steering wheel and drove into a bridge. Others overdosed or shot themselves, and a former boss chose hanging.
Forty years later I still continue to struggle with depression and see many in the same boat. A photographer I used to follow, Don Graham, often wrote about his battle with Bipolar disorder and several months ago took his own life. He was in therapy and on several medications.
Depression is a fight we have with ourselves, completely created by our thoughts and we get stuck there. Antidepressants will only take you so far and often the side effects are unbearable. Therapy may help, but unless they’ve been there themselves it can seem like just words they learned from a course in college.
I think of depression like a train: Sometimes you can see it objectively, and despite all the smoke and noise you can distance yourself from it and get through the day. Other times its headed right for you, and like my friend Jeff, you stand there as it runs you over.
My favorite author, Charles Bukowski wrote: “Nobody can save you but yourself and you’re worth saving. It’s a war not easily won but if anything is worth winning then this is it. Think about it. Think about saving your self.”
Tuesday March 20th is the first day of spring and the forecast is for 1-3 inches of snow tomorrow followed by 3-5 more inches on Wednesday (of course I expect them to be wrong as usual).
Ernest Hemingway once said: “When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.” He’s probably not the best one to give that kind of advice but let’s go with that.
“Personally I would never want to be a member of any group where you either have to wear a hat, or you can’t wear a hat.” George Carlin
Yesterday three museums in Lancaster County celebrated Pennsylvania’s 333rd birthday by offering free admission for Charter Day. Charter Day commemorates the charter King Charles II granted Pennsylvania founder William Penn in 1681.
I went back to the Railroad Museum to practice using my 35mm lens. While most people seemed to be enjoying themselves, I heard several bored kids ask their parents when they could go home. The smart ones just used body language.
“I glanced out the window at the signs of spring. The sky was almost blue, the trees were almost budding, the sun was almost bright.” Millard Kaufman, Bowl of Cherries
“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower. You didn’t have to struggle to make your face different than anyone else’s on earth. It just is. You are unique because you were created that way.” Marianne Williamson
“Who we are has many faces, but these faces are not who we are.” Charlotte Joko Beck