Recently, despite the medication and watchful awareness on my part, I suddenly spiraled down into an irretrievable darkness. It set upon me with such speed and blind-sidingly irrational ferociousness that all the mechanisms I usually employ to drag myself from its dark and dreadful depths vanished in a rapidly opening bottomless chasm and were lost for all eternity.
Of course there were instances to blame for the episode – difficulties at work, jetlag, and so on, small innocuous itches that, upon waking, managed to quadruple in mass, each suddenly weighing the equivalent of an elephant or a cement truck. They then banded together and pressed down with the sole aim of abrading my psyche until all that remained was a pile of innocuous dust. The problems loomed, a coffin of injustice, blocking out the sun and the moon and family and reason.
There was no escape, except perhaps in an act of pure and monumental significance, one that would break through the smothering oppression and hopelessness, and burst forth screaming ‘BASTARDS!”
Then, with a little help, reason returned, all calm and benign; dissolving barriers and banishing maniacal thoughts – laughing at their absurdity, chiding like a school-mistress, resetting perception and getting on with things, locking that dire day some place it was sure I would never find it.
All things plodded along at the usual mundane place, until today…
The recoil, the yin to the ever-so-dark yang, is upon me now and in my madness I welcome it with open arms.
When viewed from a safe distance, it is frighteningly destructive – I am unable to concentrate on what is directly in front me, but the fanciful, even the apparently impossible is suddenly tangible, more within my reach than anything my mere senses can detect. I must create, solve, renovate, reform, revolutionise, and anything that is stupid or inconsiderate enough to stand it the way of this mandate is my enemy.
Seeing as I am sitting at my chaotic desk, I grasp the only creative outlet my overflowing mind has – I write. Fortunately, writing is easy. No canvas, no messy paints or mosaic tiles (a recent trip abroad has provided no end of inspiration on that front), nothing to clean up or make room for or purchase, no need to make public my inner turmoil amid piles of tools, paintbrushes, chisels and sandstone – I can stealthfully do this at my desk. Brilliant!
Armed with a brimming packet of Peanut M&M’s and a conspiratorially willing keyboard, I am free.
I am a deity of wisdom and my words are golden, imparting truth beyond worth, not pearl-like, no small yet brilliant treasures these. I write clouds, vast and undeniable, bold, grey, in-your-face cumulonimbi, complete with heralding thunder and imparting lightening. These words will change, revolutionise, edify… if only I can get them down before they are stolen by the rush of activity that begins with a flittering in my stomach then bubbles and fizzes upward, flinging ideas and impulses at breakneck speed until my mind is a vortex, a hurricane, dark and tumultuous, yet perfect and luminous and lighter than breath.
Is this mania? If so it’s bloody brilliant. I want to bottle it and squirrel it away, or, no, share it, for surely everyone would benefit from seeing this glorious, infinite world from this perfect perspective. ‘Grab your selfie-sticks people and stand just here… that’s it… a little to the left…’
“Aaaaahhhhh’ they shall sigh and the problems of the world will melt away.
In fact, why am I wasting time at work, lashed to a purpose not my own, slaying precious glorious seconds, and innumerable parts-there-of doing menial tasks that don’t even rate on the scale of world-altering. How can I book a venue for an upcoming function when the façade of my house needs to be rendered, then painted a brilliant warm red, by tomorrow? How can I help plan a game-changing meeting when I can almost feel the calm that could be had sitting in my backyard if only I could find those fruitless mulberry trees I saw by a pool in Spain and have them grow to full maturity overnight? Focus is there, laser sharp, a thread of spun gold that can cut through all and everything, but it is aimed squarely out the window – elsewhere.
Of course I can’t leave. I’m paid to be here and here I shall stay. So instead I roil and bubble with wasted energy, thoughts floating off towards an unreceptive ceiling, creative juices spilling uselessly on the carpet, and I take another handful of M&M’s and let my mind secretly scale mountains.