THE PUNGENT SMELL OF DEPRESSION

THE PUNGENT SMELL OF DEPRESSION

 

For almost ten years

I stood on that unsafe edge

of my psychic abyss.

This downward spiral

had no reigns to tug,

no brakes to halt

my incessant

descent

into delusion

and despair.

My cells caught

these psychic plights

and enhanced my

fear and anxiety

into agony and

the “normality” of

discomfort.

Great charismatic

camouflage,

Herculean creativity

and compulsive humor

served to armor

me from the

Spirit of my Depths.

Eventually, after ten years

of dark nights of depression

and ignored signs,

I caved in;

I wore out;

I stopped bargaining…

too weak to try

one more time.

(Thankfully, without

knowing it,

my sickness

was already in the process

of making me well.)

I did not know the Way;

I merely realized that I

craved and yearned for

Something so illusive

and so realistic,

so impossible

and quite probable.

I vividly recall

waking up one morning

after a big dream

saying aloud,

“Oh God!! 

The pain of my existence

is too heavy to bear.  Heal

me or 

please 

let me die.”

Would you know, in that stark

millisecond of spontaneous

heart-cry from my

unconscious inner knowing,

I somehow “knew,”

beyond any rational knowledge,

that this unbearable psychic

wrenching was

an angel of truth

dressed up like

a demon from hell.

I cried out to Someone

within, Something beyond.

I saw myself standing on the

sharp edge of a gigantic abyss.

My toes overhanging the rim

of a bottomless darkness, I

had this stark fearful urge…

to jump!!

I stood there, it seemed like

a timeless endless moment;

I stood there on the brink of

that precipice.

Suddenly, I let go of my fear

and fell forward

into the

black

empty

void.

I swirled and twirled downward,

into a endless darkness.

In desperation and weakness,

I let myself free fall.

Slowly the darkness changed.

Dark purple, then blood red.

Finally a tiny light seemed to

form at once both

a sense of dawn and twilight.

Gradually more light expanded

into what now seemed like

a birth canal.

Like a stunned Jonah vomited

upon the shoreline

of Nivinah,

I awakened from the

ordeal,

sweating and vibrant and exhausted

from intensity.

I turned onto my back,

glanced upward

into the clear blue skies

and felt the welcomed brush of

a summer breeze

cooling the nervous

sweat from my drained body.

I knew something was different,

but words or thoughts failed to

capture that moment.

Only years later

have I come to

see the miracle

and mystery

of that moment.

All I know is,

fear fell into that

dark abyss

and love was

born from

that birth canal.

Despair caved into hope,

I fell upward

out of emptiness

into fullness,

out of not understanding

into the inexplicable experience

of knowing.

Reflecting now,

on that

epiphany some decades ago,

I drew desolate depression

to transform

and guide my

beloved shadow,

only

to discover that

the graces of the gods,

(not my own trying harder)

was my true Essence.

In time this shifted

my worldview, my reality.

Shame, blame and trying harder

were no longer my warders.

Like clear skies after

the flashes of lightening

and rumbling of thunder,

the landscape of my soul

felt refined and cleansed.

Now, after many a free-fall

and many surprises,

I now see

how transforming

that darkness has become.

It was my dark depression

that lit up the night

of my depression.

Only in the experience of

leaning into my own darkness,

surprised by the Unknown Knower,

trusting beyond reason,

letting go into the abyss

of incredible gentleness,

did I come to myself.

It was Refining Love hidden away

in my suffering

all along!

Thank you, Depression.

Thank you, bottomless Abyss.

Thank you, camouflaged Shadowlands.

Thank you, Emptiness.

Thank you for edging me out of my nest.

Thank you for showing me

that I can fly

with the wings

of the wind.

February 6, 2016

Hal Edwards

Wauconda

What? Another Death Poem??

WHAT? ANOTHER DEATH POEM?

I hear you
loud and clear,
my dear precious friend.
I hear you asking me,

“No! Not another one?
Not another one of your
death poems!
Are you obsessed
or entranced
with dying?”

“Are you
hypnotized by
it all?”

“Why do you insist
on writing so much
about dying?

“What is wrong
with you?

“Why can’t you
just be happy
and look at the
bright side of things
and focus
on being alive?”

I can only
but answer you
by saying,

No, I am not obsessed,
nor do I have any
need or desire to die.

Neither do I choose
to dismiss this
most important
moment
of greatest meaning
and purpose.

I sense an inevitable Surprise of Love
that will come to pass;
I welcome whatever
is to come,
as I value
every opportunity
to be present
here and now.

I choose to be present
to my Soul
in my living
and
in my dying and living again.

I seek the same grace
and surrender to
the same grace
exhaling and inhaling,
sleeping and awake,
working and playing,
living and dying.

Graduation Day
is worth
preparing for,
writing about,
reflecting upon
as I
smell the flowers
and lick my
chocolate ice cream
(with almonds).

Wauconda
Hal Edwards
April 25, 2015

I HAD TO KNOW

I HAD TO KNOW

I had to know

what I was not

before

I could ever begin to know

what I was,

what I am

and

what I am meant to be.

Experience and

divine intervention

have

enlightened

this differentiation.

“Separating from”

is as vital to

my salvation

as “union with.”

It takes great courage

and solid daily work

to separate

and

to unite—

to say one’s Yes and No—

with inner clarity

and integrity.

There is no such

thing

as perfection

without imperfection,

wholeness

without

brokenness,

love without

fear.

I no longer

trust my knowing

by faith

without having

explored and trusted

my not knowing

by faith.

I came to choose,

to implicitly trust,

that Inner Voice

hidden underneath

and beyond

my rational ways

of knowing.

I chose to discriminate

at a depth

beyond mere expectations.

I chose

to explore beyond the

edges of things.

I chose to venture

beyond all my

religious and cultural

mandates of protocol;

I chose to venture

into my own Hidden Cave

where only the unknown

and uncharted

lie submerged and waiting

in the dark abyss

of my

ineffable and unpredictable

potential.

This awakening of

consciousness came upon me

in the early 70’s

during a family vacation

at Pawley’s Island,

while reading chapter 6

in Jung’s autobiography,

Memories Dreams & Reflections—

“Confrontation with the Unconscious.”

In a flash of a moment

I altogether “knew”

that I could and I would

risk my entire life and legacy

paying attention to

this Center Voice

Who lives within my core.

Closer to my inner truth

than anyone else

or anything else—

this simple profound awareness,

immediately superseded

all my rational concepts

about God and

about social morals.

It meant,

I knew in a flash,

the difference between

my own

salvation or

my own damnation.

This was a Mt. Everest

I knew I must

climb and claim

within my own psyche.

Something at the Center

of that moment

guided me to trust.

A prolific numinous dream

that very night

sealed my direction.

Thank you, Dr. Jung.

You continue to be a

master spiritual director,

a soul mentor

without peer.

Hal Edwards

November 9, 2014

Wauconda

DYING INTO LIFE

DYING INTO LIFE

Why don’t I

Just give up,

Stop trying,

Gather enough courage

To lie down

And die?

Beyond exhaustion,

I want to sleep

forever

And numb out

The pain

Of my

Own existence.

The road seems

So dark and

Unending, so

Lonely, so

Dangerous

And demanding.

It becomes narrow,

And the bends

And bumps

Prevent me

From seeing

Far enough

Ahead.

Hope now gone,

I have frozen into

My fears;

I trudge ahead

Not knowing

Where I am

Going.

The dark settles

All around me,

The rain rattles

My brain

And racks my

Body with its

Bone chilling

Penetrating drench.

  Continue reading

I’M LOOKING OVER THE LIFE THAT LIVES ME

I’M LOOKING OVER THE LIFE THAT LIVES ME

IMG_3769 

Drawn

To reflect

On the life

That has tricked me,

The life that has blessed me,

I am enticed,

Yes, drawn,

Like a moth into neon light,

To that wonderful

And popular love song

of my early childhood:

 

I’m Looking Over

A four-leafed clover

That I overlooked before.

One leaf is sunshine;

The second is rain;

Third is the roses

That grow in the lane;

No need explaining

The one remaining

Is somebody I adore.

I’m looking over

A four leafed clover

That I overlooked

Before.

 

I see now;

That somebody

“I overlooked before”

Has all too often

Been that

Altogether Me

I kept

hidden

From myself.

  Continue reading

GRIEF AND GRATITUDE

GRIEF AND GRATITUDE

 

Grief and gratitude

will always be

very dependable

friends.

 

United in

their opposites,

they seamlessly

realize,

connect and

transform

past, present and future

through their

slowly refining

grist

of time,

self-discovery

and

trust in the

Mystery

of Great Mercy.

 

Our work

is to 

embrace

the opposites,

live now,

take the next step,

honor uncertainty,

receive

and 

remain awake.

NATURE’S WISDOM IN HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS

NATURE’S WISDOM IN HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS

EYES THAT SEE COLOR

              Camille Flammarion, L’Atmosphere: Météorologie Populaire (Paris, 1888) 

What is our

obsessive fear

of dying and death

revealing about

our perspective of

life?

 

Nature’s

Way

deserves our

response.

Nature’s wisdom

affirms birth

and life,

and death.

Every particle

and DNA imprint

point to the

remarkably foreseeable

cycles of

birth and death.

Let us cure cancer.

Let us cure

whatever kills us;

let us extend the

perimeters of

physical life

and see what we

come up with.

Whatever we do

to avoid the

inevitability of

impermanence,

whatever we accomplish

to extend ourselves

beyond the natural

course of Nature,

will reap

the best and worst

that we can imagine.

While we live longer,

we may at the same time

create demands beyond

our present

capacity

to sustain the balance.

Continue reading

GOD’S TWO HANDS

GOD’S TWO HANDS

 

(Image created by askamathmatician.com)

No docile, meek lamb

nor gentle smile

can by itself

penetrate through

the tangled jungle of

our overwhelming

shadow land.

 

No terrifying tiger

nor forceful surge

alone

can soothe and heal

a

traumatized,

disintegrated

 spirit.

 

Shared hurt feelings

or

intellectual dialogues

alone

will not

pay the bills

nor

deter a terrorist.

Continue reading

TWO GYROSCOPES

TWO GYROSCOPES

Two Gyros a poem by Hal

It seems we are all
born with
two
essential
gyroscopes—

one for our Outer Life,
which we call Ego,
and one for our
Inner Life,
which we call
Naphsha.*

Both are
necessary,
And
each needs
the other.
Either one
without the other
leaves us
desperate,
estranged,
split
and grasping
for the
Other
Side of
our
full potential
and
wholeness.

Continue reading