A Rock Feels No Pain

In despero , obscurum ; In Diligo , Lux lucis. (In despair, darkness; In Love, Light). -Me

Random Cabin Reflections

Being back at the cabin is fabulous, such a wonderful place. Last year, I wrote about the magical effects being here had on me, just being here is great. Even more so this year, because I’m so much more aware of things around me, and of the people here.

Last night, Lynn and I were walking along the path, and somehow got onto the subject of one of the brothers-in-law, and did my time last year overlap with his? I could’ve sworn that we didn’t, or if so, it was passing on the dock- but, it seems, he was here the entire time that I was; in fact, he’d asked Lynn, after I had returned home, was I mad at him for something, because he hardly saw me?

No, I wasn’t mad at him- or anyone, really, except perhaps myself. At that time, I was so concentrated on surviving, just breathing and eating was taking all my energies. I had arrived shortly after the lowest point, when the Black Thing had a close and strong grip on me, and was still adjusting to the meds, still adjusting to the fact that I had come so close to being one of those statistical entries- “n” number will commit suicide this year… that I really haven’t got clear memory of much, from that week.

I do remember a couple of specific incidents, but which of the extended family was here, there or anywhere- nope. I recall sleeping a lot, and hanging out in the cabin a lot, and trying to laugh, and trying not to curl into my little ball and step off the world- and that’s about it.

I can remember the evening I wrote this , and the events that led me to write this , but that’s about all.

On the other hand, looking around this year, I find myself awake, and much more aware. I know which nieces and which nephews are here, which brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, and this is a good thing.


Filed under: cabin, depression, vacation

Unreality Break

Unreality. That’s what it feels like, when you get to take a week and go away, with no work, no school, no home chores. Also, no wondering what/who/when/is she? A very peaceful time, as far as that goes. Spend a week in the cabin you built in the woods, from logs, with your own blood and sweat and tears in it (literally), with no telephones or electricity or T.V., etc, and you get to think quietly for a little bit anyway.

Granted, the other house has the T.V., videos and all, but the time at “my house” was so welcomed, it far outweighs the rest. Christmas in a box, popcorn strings as the tree trimmings, Dad and Rick and his kids, and the six of us- it makes for a good noise, overall, and really drives home what family means to me, how much I love them all.

Even Rick, who as we grew up was my nemesis, the one I hated, is tolerable in small doses. We’ll never be close, I don’t think, but I can manage to get past the kid stuff. After all, didn’t I learn in the last months that forgiveness is more for me, than the other? I can let go, because I’ve also learned how destructive and uncomfortable the icky feelings can be, and how resentment and anger can eat away at you, and it’s not worth it.

I even had an EIGHT day, on Friday. Lynn and I stayed back in the morning, and took a whole bunch of really fun sexy pictures, in the snow and woods, and on the bear-skin rug, and peeking around a snowy pine- (and of course, I snuck a couple of her walking the path just for fun!), and then made love before we went over to ski; and the skiing was fantastic, wet but warm, soft snow falling, everyone having a blast, a perfect last day for the trip.

Wind that up with a great sauna for everyone, and a wonderfully silly snowball war, as the bigger boys decided to streak up to the house and back- and after Lynn and I had attacked them with snowballs, they came back to find Nick and Lynn all set to ambush them again- I haven’t heard so much laughing and falling over with tears running down cheeks in I don’t know how long.

It’s hard to leave, seems like as soon as we got in the car, the soft warm feelings start to dissipate. I’m thinking of work, and school, and being broke and how we can get the oil filled, and all the stuff that we’ve left behind is coming back again. Guess it just shows you can’t escape life forever, but what a great week to stop the world and get off for a bit. So, if I can just plug away at each little thing, do what has to be done as things come up, that’s going to have to do.

Filed under: cabin, family, vacation

Mentally Home

Original posting date was August 8, 2006

Peaceful. It’s so nice to be back, on this island; this place is working it’s magic on me, again, saving my sanity and my life. Nothing pressing on me, nothing that has to be done, beyond the next nap, or book, or time to sit on the beach. I can hear the waves on the shore, feel the breeze across me as I lie on the porch. If I lift my eyes, I’m looking through trees to blue water; far across, the mainland shore is fuzzy and indistinct, but this time from distance.

A wonderful time to reflect. The kids are here, Lynn is here, and I sleep. All night long last night, blessed sleep and not waking every hour or two, not wandering through dark mazes. I can dream, and drift, and listen to the gulls and the chipmunks. Even the dogs conspire to make me smile, chuckle at their goofiness.

Warm soft air, clean and fresh, water and pine smell, and trees that are ancient. Is it any wonder that we call this area “God’s Country?” Even the sand clinging to bare feet, the noise of the bugs rasping, and moths banging on the screens, trying desperately to get to the lights are a part of it.

When I arrived, Sunday, stepping onto the dock was like leaving a weight behind. I could feel it lifting, sloughing off my shoulders, just like dropping a heavy pack after hiking. The lightness was palpable, and I’m embracing it.

There has been only one moment of darkness, when I ask myself why we aren’t here all the time, why did we leave? I know all the reasons, the rational cold-blooded thinking reasonableness of moving, and the things that we can do only because of that move; yet, I wish it was different.
Then, as we talk about plans for the fall, school and university, and tuition and plans and dreams, I remember that that is why… and I’m reminded, again, that it is good.

And I smile, and hug them all, grateful that I can. Grateful that I can come home again, even for a while.

Filed under: cabin, depression

Blurry Mind

Original posting date was July 22nd, 2006

My mind gets blurry around the edges sometimes; it’s like when you’re up early, (ick!) and down on the beach before the sun is really up, on those still mornings when it’s not quite foggy, but there’s just enough moisture to make the outlines of the boats, the trees and dock posts fuzzy.

I don’t like it much.

It interferes too much; it hurts too much. I look through things, as if they’re translucent instead of opaque, and they aren’t really there. Then I look closer, and they have gone solid again, which is a relief, but I realize that the shimmer is me; I’m the part of the picture that’s in soft-focus.

I want my focus back.


I’m walking along the path, and the trees are still and the heat is pounding into me, squinting against the glare and the halos around all the treetops between the sun and my eyes. It’s so still, no birds, the only sound the soft shuffly scrape of my shoes on the dirt of the path, on old leaves and the occasional root that crosses the path, seeking the toes of the unwary.

There, on the path ahead, is someone coming toward me. A couple of walkers, perhaps from the camp at the north end of the island, chatting quietly to each other, laughing. A nod as we pass, stepping slightly to the sides, avoiding the bush, making room for them. Wondering, as we continue in opposite directions, never knowing who the others are, nor they me, does it matter that we don’t know?

Three people, passing randomly on a pathway on an island in a lake, which is deep in the woods of Minnesota; and yet we have something in common, we three. For we’re all here, all drawn by something to this special, magical place. If not, if the affinity didn’t exist, we would never have encountered each other.

Yes, there are those who “don’t do the woods”, who can’t stand the sand, the insects, the inconvenience of not being able to get to a store, a coffee shop on a whim; but even those who are here for the first time, never to return- well, if they’re out and around, it’s something that has drawn them to do that. If the pull didn’t exist, they’d be curled up in their cabin, fanning themselves, counting the days until they can leave.

No, if you encounter them on the path, out in the woods, slapping the flies and mosquitos (or being carried away by them, some years, it’s Minnesota after all!)… No, if you see them there, then you can smile. Because although strangers, you are related.


Perhaps that’s why, even when my focus is fuzzy, I can hang onto something that tells me it can get better. Because there are so many things that are shared, and if I can get the dark fog to dissipate, I can see them again.

Filed under: cabin, depression

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Ancient History