Thursday, July 13, 2006

On the Tide

Inevitably, around day two of a two-three day bout of anxiety and mild-to-not-so-mild depression, I realise that I'm not actually being the sluggard and misanthrope I feel like, but that I'm actively preparing for work, be it a writing job, academic project, or beginning of rehearsals. These bouts are reliable as clockwork, and I always forget I have to go through them, before I'm at least half way through one. They're only mildly miserable in themselves, but they shake me up, throwing me into a stew of existential angst. Life has no meaning, and I find myself re-acquainting myself with first principles, no matter how inchoately. What's important? Happiness or helping others? Am I capable of love? Is life too short or too long? What's all this talk about God, anyway? Will I still be able to f@!k when I'm 65? 47? Why aren't I better read? When will I clean out my storage locker? Is 'art' important? Why? Can I live without it? Move to Bend to become a middle-aged ski instructor and unpaid gigolo to divorcèes in early retirement? Plato or Aristotle? What the hell was Socrates talking about when he says "an unexamined life is not worth living?" Is there any other kind? For those two-or-three days I'm unfocused, sluggish, introverted, and weirdly articulate as only a man on the intellectual and imaginative ropes can be.

Then, somewhere around the middle of day three, a gentle surge of energy initiates in a tingle at the back of my skull and washes me upward into lucidity, and I'm pulled forward to the computer, or to the bookshelf, and I begin reading, writing, and making phone calls. I'll have about as much time in this state of active creativity--two-to-three-days--as I had in preparation, so hopefully, I'll use it well. And there's the suspense, every time: will I or won't I?

And how much time will I fritter blogging about it?

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