Finding the Stories
One of the problems in using a blog as a tool for coming to grips with depression is, well, the depression. I’ve been hit hard the past couple of weeks, to the point where I’ve been resentful of my dogs because I have to get dressed before I can take them outside to potty. Being in such a state, I haven’t noticed many symbols, and have lacked the motivation to write about the ones I have been seeing.
Still, even if I’m in a place where it takes me all day to muster up enough enthusiasm to go grocery shopping when I’m out of food, the dogs need to be cared for. And it’s a whole lot easier to get dressed and take them downstairs than it is to scrub various bodily discharges out of the carpet.
Taking the dogs outside has the additional benefit of getting me out in nature, or at least into the suburbs with a few hold-out farmers nearby. I’ve been making a point on our walks to pay attention to things like the sky, birds, the feeling of sunshine and wind, etc. I especially make a point of watching the sky at night. While it’s true that my neighborhood is inundated with light pollution, I can still see a few stars.
When I was out with the dogs a few nights ago, I was looking at the constellations in the northern sky. Cassiopeia is easy to spot, and once you’ve found her it’s easy to locate Andromeda, Perseus, and Pegasus. While looking at these four constellations, I was thinking about how they share the same story (except for Pegasus–he’s connected to Perseus by virtue of being born when Perseus cut off Medusa’s head, but that’s a story for another blog). The thought “Find the stories” came to my mind. While I don’t think it meant the literal stories in the constellations, I realized that it made sense to have have them there. It’s easier for most people to remember stories than it is to remember the random grouping of stars that kind of almost looks like a bear, and means that north is that way.
The stories served as literal guides for eons, pointing the way for travelers to go. They also served as moral guides, reminding people to, say, not boast against the gods or you’ll have to end up sacrificing your daughter to a sea monster.
Good advice, really.
I’m not sure what to do when the symbol is a story, and not the words therein. If the symbol was the legend of Perseus and Andromeda, for instance, I could easily pull out the symbolisms and meanings. Likewise, if it were the stars themselves, I could find symbols in the constellations, as well as in the science. But, stories?
The best I can figure is that my subconscious is telling me that I need to find my bearings, that I need to find my guiding stories and principles. This makes sense, because I’ve been feeling lost, like I’m spinning my wheels, for months, now. But between the feeling of being lost, and the depression, I don’t know if I can trust myself.
- Cassiopeia and Perseus in northeast on autumn evenings (sott.net)
- Autumn Skywatching: Celestial Soap Opera Wheels Across Night Sky (space.com)
- Andromeda, The Chained Princess (englit0399.wordpress.com)