Be Kind to Yourself
Because you’ve gotta learn to love your enemies too.
If you have ever lived with a depressed man, you know this is what they can sound like:
“I’m scared if I open myself to be known
“I’ll be seen and despised and be left all alone
“So I’m stuck in this tomb and You won’t move the stone
“And the rain keeps fallin’ down …”
The minor, monotonous melody perfectly matches the content.
But then …
“My daughter and I put the seeds in the dirt
“And every day now we’ve been watching the earth
“For a sign that this death will give way to a birth
“And the rain keeps fallin’ …
“Down on the soil where the sorrow is laid,
“And the secret of life is igniting the grave,
“And I’m dyin’ to live but I’m learning to wait,
“And the rain is fallin’ down.”
And the rain, which at the beginning of the song was just relentless and chilling, is now something that might be giving life.
This song is a work of art.
I went through a very bad bout of jealousy last year, when someone with whom I am (or rather was) friendly did extremely well. It felt like every few days she’d have more good news about how well her book was doing. It threw me for a loop. I am a better writer than she is. Sometimes I would get off the phone and cry. I felt like the wicked stepsister in a fairy tale. I told another friend, and she read me some lines by a Lakota Sioux: ‘Sometimes I go about pitying myself. And all the while I am being carried on great winds across the sky.’ That is so beautiful, I said; and I am so mentally ill.Anne Lamott, in her book Bird by Bird, which was referenced by Andrew Peterson in his interview yesterday
There’s an artist you should know about. His name is Andrew Peterson. This week all my posts will be about his work. Here’s the first one. When you listen to it, keep a box of tissues handy.