• on ‘the other’ in me •

Such an interesting article. I also live with depressive states, and almost word for word, can identify with the descriptions of how it feels. I still go through it, but once I discovered my ‘other’, and became a friend, an advocate, a soother-listener-protector to that child-like, super-sensitive, super-creative, intuitive (did I mention ‘child-like’, oh, yes I did…) ‘entity’, which resides, side-by-side, inside of me (but speaks only in dreams, and emotions, and whispers to me in musical phrasings, and compulsions, and desires, and cravings – basically, all of the so-called, ‘id’ stuff), and learned how to take the time to really ‘be’ with this ‘other’ and talk to him/her/it rationally, to commiserate, and to listen – really listen – and to make plans, and provisions, and promises – to make things better for he/she/it (and too, to really work to keep those promises, at least a little every day), then, slowly, but surely, I came not only to understand that these ‘waves’ of ‘depression’ are really the feelings of despair and hopelessness that any normal person would feel, if he/she/it had no ‘voice’, no power to affect change, no acknowledgement, and felt no appreciation (and little love), but that there is never any reason to feel ‘lonely’, because (if this is a real ‘state of being’ – and I am convinced that it is), one is never alone, and that the process of ‘loving’ really does, start with you/me, see? (Does this make sense/can you ‘relate’?) Hand to heart, this has been a true ‘revelation’, and a life-changing epiphany, for me. It has been about six years since I came to this awareness, and my progress has been substantial and continual, and empowering (happily).
This is the basis of my own particular ‘bi-cameral mind’ hypothesis. I really should write a book on the subject. What do you think, friends? Here is the article.
On depression: What you should know if you love someone with high-functioning depression:

• the role of a friend •

You are no friend, friend.
You only pretend to be a friend,
always with the passive aggression,
always with the snide retort.
Let me tell you about friends, friend.
Friends don’t hurt for fun,
or rip each other’s guts out for sport.
Friends don’t laugh at your pain,
enjoy your embarrassment,
exult in undermining your satisfaction,
poo-poo your gains,
remind you of your past failures,
and follies,
winnow out your weaknesses,
and worries,
all the more, to underscore.
A friend won’t hobble your confidence,
with the teasing jibe,
the unwarranted witticism,
the stinging barb,
the bad report.
That’s not the role of a friend, friend.
That’s what family is for.
~ Tim Burchfield


• a mutually agreeable relationship •

In the Amazon rain forest there is a living tree; within its bark lives a parasitic plant which needs no sun – it draws its nourishment from its host, and is not visible, or even evident, but for a short time, once a year, when thousands of tiny yellow ball-shaped ‘flowers’ appear on the trunk of the host tree. On the nights when the yellow ‘buds’ are flourishing, tiny caterpillars come and eat the tasty buds. Each caterpillar has an accompanying ant who, when she gently taps on the caterpillar’s back with her antennae, the caterpillar produces a drop of sweet elixir, which the ant slurps greedily. They have a mutually agreeable relationship. The caterpillar, in turn, derives protection from predators, and the ant, a veritable moveable feast.
And then, betimes, along comes a butterfly. It’s wings are gray, but for a single brightly colored yellow ‘dot’, toward the back – a convincing ‘match’ to the yellow ‘flowers’ on the tree: as ‘camouflage’, apparently.
An entire ecosystem, within one tree. That’s what I learned, yesterday.
Oh, and, one other thing: if you are walking your dogs with the girl, and you see a big bug in her hair, politely pick the bug out before she knows what you are about, rather than pointing and shouting, “Bug! Bug!! BUG!!” (Three times fast.)
Yes, I learned that, too, alas.
~ Tim Burchfield


• a starting place •

So much unsaid,
like the over-stuffed box,
full of letters, un-sent,
under my bed,
and too, those ensconced
in the nested sub-folders
of my however many
Apple computers I’ve shelved,
over the years,
whose computer languages
are accessible to no one, now,
not even to myself.
Still, love has no time,
and is its own reason to exist,
if too, something?
What, too personal?
Perhaps, yes? Still, friend,
to smile, is almost, to laugh.
And that’s a starting place,
ever and always, for bliss.
~ Tim Burchfield