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Friday, November 2, 2012

Box of Darkness

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.
 -Mary Oliver
I'm far from that realization, actually. In fact who ever gave me that  box can take it right back and shove it. 

Like i might've said before: if i were offered a cure tomorrow, i would snatch it up and run til my legs fell off. On the other hand, if i could choose to have my life without having experienced the tribulations and sacrifices of an unpredictable brain disorder, i'd probably find myself declining the offer. I might be a whole lot smarter, but i just don't think i'd hold it all in quite the same regard.


  1. Ok, here is my 2 cents.

    It seems over the years our society has gone through this thing where we have to be grateful for everything and every cloud has a silver lining. Every shitty thing that happens has to be a gift in some way. Well, I call bullshit!
    Some things, like illness is just a drag. It isn't a gift and there is no silver lining.
    We try so hard to make something exist that simply is not there. However, as you say we can learn from the crap that life hands us but it doesn't mean we need to be grateful.
    So, maybe don't try so hard to see having an unpredictable brain disorder as a gift. In my opinion it isn't. It just is. You don't need the addition burden of trying to find meaning in this on top of what you already have.
    I hope this makes sense. :-)

  2. Oh Ajax, I have been blown over by yoour last couple of posts and no comment seems to feel appropriate. Yes, the deal is not fair, but what is fairness but a figment of our weird social concepts, so easy to bend and stretch. When I first was diagnosed I would scream at the walls and the cats and anything that moved in my way. A long long time later came some sense of giving in/endurance and with it such a load of sarcasm that it can well choke me if I don't watch it. Somewhere along the way I read about salutogenesis ( and it has been a life line of sorts, sometimes. At least it has helped me to recover some self respect and not reduce myself to a sick woman all the time. The gifts are elsewhere despite being ill.
    Be good to yourself.

    Two things come to mind directly now:
    1 Thanks for the Richie Havens song.

    2 A poem, hopefully not to gushing:


    I give you emptiness
    I give you plenitude,
    unwrap them carefully –
    One’s as fragile as the other –
    and when you thank me
    I’ll pretend to notice the doubt in your voice
    when you say they’re just what you wanted.
    Put them on the table by your bed.
    When you wake in the morning
    they’ll have gone through the door of sleep
    into your head. Wherever you go
    they’ll go with you and
    wherever you are you’ll wonder,
    smiling about the fullness
    you can’t add to and the emptiness
    that you can fill.

    --Norman MacCaig.

  3. I, too, have been loving your posts but have had little to say. I think I am with Birdie though on this one- why must we feel grateful for every fucked up thing that happens or has happened? Sure, yes, we do get insights that we would not have had without them but wouldn't we have gotten different, less fearful ones without? I blame Oprah and her damn gratefulness journel.
    Here's what I am grateful for- the fact that you, despite this brain disorder, have the spirit to live a life far more full than many of us have without one. And that you share it with us.


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