Regarding the snarky health insurance post from the other day: I think maybe six people read it, and I’m guessing at least half of them didn’t like it.
Maybe it was the creepy subject matter because, really, who publicly announces that her doctor recommends antidepressants? Not only for me, but for my entire family, even the dead ones. Knowing this about someone is like looking up their skirt and seeing dirty underpants.
And then there’s the suicide reference. What to do with that? I don’t come from a family of suicide experts like the Hemingways. But several people who perch in my family tree have thought about it. Some have tried and failed, and at least one has actually succeeded. Precarious, these family norms and dysfunctions. Aren’t they, though.
Retroactive antidepressants, what a concept. Beginning around the time I started to express myself creatively. “She’s a troublemaker,” the professionals would say, if they could go back to then. “Trouble. Troubled. Let’s knock off her edges with antidepressants if the exorcism doesn’t work.”
What if? Who would I be now? Would I watch a lot of television? Would I still be a writer? Would trees matter, or birds? How about horses? Would I still need to dance? Would I have kept the same job forever? Would I have learned to play the piano, or swallow fire?
The magnificent horse to your left is Master Gibb, Psychic Healer and Masseur. You may sense his largesse, although he is no longer present in physical form. He had all the answers, no questions asked.
Just so you know, the soul always weighs in on the side of the horse.
In response to the snarky creepy insurance post, my friend and play pal Prema Lynn Felder (who works toward personal enlightenment without blinding the rest of us) sent Rumi right over.
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
— Jelaluddin Rumi
— translation by Coleman Barks from The Illuminated Rumi, 1997
Bonus Serendipitous Doo Wah:
Prema Lynn Felder doesn’t know that The Illuminated Rumi lives by my bed. But this dame sure knows how to lighten a load. Want to know more about her? She’s a smart and highly productive human; Google her.
In the meantime, walk on.