I love winter, for the first two weeks. After that it seems like a long slog through bleakness. It’s hard to be enthusiastic about life when the landscape itself is so clearly hostile to you. By this point, though, the snow is piled high, and the thought of spring is less like the thought of an absent friend and more like the remembrance of a legend. Will the world be green again one day? Some people believe it. Meanwhile, we are used to the slog.
My sister, not Simcha but one of the other four, is having a baby today. If her last seven are anything to go by, this one is going to be really beautiful, and with a beautiful name, too: Naomi. (Such a sweet, mournful diphthong, I’ve always thought.) So please pray for everything to go smoothly.
I’ve just completed Clean Of Heart for the second time ever. It was just what I needed, and this time I had a daily accountability partner, who himself is going through the program; instead of being only weekly accountable to Father T. That was great. I guess it’s a function of growing older that it didn’t feel strange to be open with my friend about what I’d been looking at on the internet, which pits I’d narrowly skirted, which brambles in particular left scratches, and what I could do to walk a clearer path the next day. Friendship like that is a great blessing. Some people don’t get to be that intimate even with their spouses, though how they manage life I can’t imagine.
The nice thing about being done with it is, now I can focus my prayer life on something else. I guess the Lord doesn’t get sick of me thinking about purity, praying about it, reading about it, but I sure do. I’d been missing what Father T calls the cor ad cor loquitur kind of prayer — “heart speaks to heart” — which I hadn’t been making time for during Clean Of Heart.
When I don’t spend daily time in silence with God, I don’t get sad, exactly, but everything seems to flatten out, to lose color. Is that how most people live, most of the time? Becoming a Christian must be like discovering another sense, or a whole set of senses, that you didn’t know you had — and then, once you have them, how could you ever go back into the Cave?
Then again, I doubt anybody really lives without prayer. They must just call it something else, and be nourished unawares.
I’m still on the meds, and I guess I still wish I was off ‘em. I’ve been on happy pills since, wow, about June of 2012. I started at 20mg of fluoxetine and jumped up to 40 when things got really bad, then tapered down to 20 again. Over the past week, against the advice of nearly everybody who knows anything about me and only two months since the last dosage change, I tried cutting down 10.
Predictably, I went to pieces, waking up in a melancholy fog most days, getting all sobby and snotty at work over practically nothing. I confided in a friend, and he noted that, yes, I hadn’t seemed like myself in a little while. Because “myself” is the happy one who loves everything, duh. I’m back up to twenty. Baby steps.
Extrabloggical engagements are on the upswing: I have a video interview thingy this weekend, and possible speaking engagements in March, July, and October, with some others. If I could get one a month, I’d be a happy camper, I think. Let me know if I can come to your place. If beer is involved, even better.
I have been experimenting a little bit with electronic music. It’s ridiculously fun to do: I can easily sink three hours into a song without noticing that I’ve had to pee for the last two. Here’s my favorite one.
Peace and prayers,
Joey (“Steve Gershom”) Prever