Monday, March 18, 2013

The Blues in the Blue Ridge Mountains

I wish it were easier to write when I'm in a down mood. I've been battling the blues for about a week. It is not a situational sadness; there has been no tragedy, no catalyst, just a low pervasive depression that occasionally haunts my life. Yes, I know about and partake of the pharmaceutical remedies designed to alleviate most of the profound depths, and I do have a great cognitive behavioral therapist who helps me identify the pathology of my ups and downs. The problem is that the best therapy I have so far discovered is my writing, and as another "somewhat talented" writer once put it, "Therein lies the rub."

I don't write dark stories and I would never want to pen words that might inspire someone's desire to share my maladaptive thought patterns and troublesome moods. The art and craft of my language, fiction or non-fiction, literary, technical, or fun, is meant to stimulate the audience. I want my overt and covert intentions to hesitate in your conscious and subconscious psyches longer than the split millisecond needed for your optic nerve to translate the alphabetic images into a synaptic voltage. When you are finished, I want you to be a little "more" than you were before you read my words; I want to augment your mind, not degrade it. I am not interested in finding company for the misery of my emotional state.

Work is my God-send. The continuous inflow of pages needing edits is routine, automatic and mechanical. The jobs are obligatory and obligations are far more powerful than that inertial tendency to stand still, do nothing and sink deeper. If only I could obligate myself to more of life's activities and duties, I might override the worst of depression's symptomology. But what has this to do with me and you, here and now?

I started this blog because writing the light-hearted letters that accompanied my twice-monthly billing made me feel better. At first, I only wanted to preserve the writing and share it with a wider readership, but as the blog evolved and the site visits grew exponentially, my postings began to be anticipated and expected. The posts became an obligation, and that should be the conclusion: Forget the blues, do it, write! Right?

Unlike storytelling, this blog is a compilation of my observations. I live in an ideal small town environment on the border of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park called Waynesville, North Carolina. (BTW: Don't even think about it. We're getting way too crowded, there's no more room. You can come for a visit but then go home! J) Life is good here and when I see something humorous, ironic or even iconic, I expand that muse, inject a little literary license, limit myself to around 600 words, and hopefully, circulate a smile.

This week the lowlands of my mind have kept me from seeing the majestic terrain of my mountain habitat. Sadly, I could find no rural Appalachian idiosyncratic epitome to infect me with a humorous contagion. But I had to write something, and if you are reading this, then I obviously hit the publish button. I'm not sure I will, but if I did, let me know if it was worthy. Leave a comment below, write back about your own battles, share this confession and my atonement with your friends, please visit one of the advertisers, and check back soon; the sun will surely rise and drive away this darkness. I will find you a smile; I promise.

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