The Undiscover’d Country

Spring                                                                          Bloodroot Moon

At times my past bleeds into the present, creating small emotional events, upsetting my inner equilibrium.  Right now is one of those times.  Many of us are heir to understandings of ourselves as malformed in some way, not quite right.  I certainly am.

(Dante Gabriel Rossetti    Hamlet and Ophelia 1858 pen and ink drawing)

These irruptions come in the OMG I’m not doing enough form or OMG I have not done enough or OMG I’ll never do enough forms.  My anxious self underlines and bolds these self-declarations as my mind races back to find the not enoughs in the past–no graduate school, no published books, never made it to Washington, the not enoughs in the present–Missing not revised, Loki’s Children not started, no time for serious in-depth reading, not helping out enough at home or making enough time for friends and then uses both of these information streams to predict a dire future:  no books published ever, no friends, no concrete results of any kind, then, wink out.

If this line of thought continues, I’m going to have to visit my analyst, John Desteian.  In touch with him (and, now, Kate) I’ve been able to dispel these strong phantoms, learn to live with facts not illusion and get on with what is a good life.  This is, I think, as much due to faulty wiring as anything else, my family coming with a strong genetic pattern for bipolar disorder, though I don’t believe my issues rise to that level of dysfunction.  I know, not enough even there, eh?

Not long ago I re-read Hamlet’s speech in Scene I, a scene I had memorized long ago for a dramatic presentation contest.  It’s baldly existential view surprised me, even shocked me. A line from it came to me as I woke up this morning and it captures my feeling tone right now:   “…the native hue of resolution is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.”  This exactly describes me when I get into these episodes.

In the lines just before this one Shakespeare refers to death as the undiscover’d country from which no traveler returns and identifies the dread of that journey as producing the pale cast of thought, thus rendering a person unable to act.  To be or not to be neatly summarizes all this.


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