Mid-life Moods and dark thoughts


If we reject what is painful, we find only more pain, but if we embrace what is within us, we stumble upon the light. ~ Elizabeth Lesser




Aren’t you a dog anyway, always groveling for love and begging to be petted? You ought to get into the garbage and lick the insides of the can, the greasy wrappers, the picked-over bones, you ought to drive your snout into the coffee grounds. Ah, coffee! Why not gulp some down with four cigarettes and then blast naked into the streets, and leap on the first beautiful man you find? The words ruin me, haven’t they been jailed in your throat for forty years, isn’t it time you set them loose in slutty dresses and torn fishnets to totter around in five-inch heels and slutty mascara? Sure it’s time. You’ve rolled over long enough… at the end of all this there’s one lousy biscuit, and it tastes like dirt. So get going. Listen: they’re howling for you now.” tell me the power of words, blog, Meredithwinn.wordpress.com

Naming things, naming our sadness, our joy, our despair and confusion makes it more real and also helps us move beyond it. I shivered when I read the piece from Meredith above. It made me want to get out my journal and write about the gritty underbelly of feelings that I keep hidden.

It brings me clarity to name what I feel, even if I’m uncomfortable admitting to those feelings. Sometimes I don’t even know how I feel until I get to the bottom of the page and look back. Ah, that’s what it was. On the outside everything may look hunky-dory, but on the journey to the self, on my inner journey, it might be a good deal rockier. And always, beyond the chattering of monkey mind, behind the breath, there is a vital core energy breathing me.


I woke up this morning, two days after Hurricane Irene blew through New York and the northeast, and felt the spaces in my body where there was pain and absence, disappointment with myself, tension and stress, unhappiness, leftover rigidity from yesterday’s shopping trip with my daughter. We are often happy together, but if there is uncertainty, difficulty or tension about details, we are both very unhappy. I was left with the feeling in my body – that I am not always a good mother, that I hate being ‘in charge’ even if I like being in control. I am supposed to be the elder, wiser one, helping her settle into her first week of a new city, new university residence, negotiating new rules, new spaces, new contacts. But I’m navigating new territory too, beginning my own new ventures, a new website, new creative journaling classes for women, new book of poems, new non-fiction book for women in mid-life (The Tao of Turning Fifty). A lot of new’s for both of us.


Finally I went out to the health food store and bought a product called Calm, a fizzy drink with magnesium in powder form. Lovely, I thought, I need this right now. I want to be calm. I want to find that great comfy place where everything goes swimmingly well even in the unknown territories that freak me out, like filling out forms on-line to get an ISBN number. Should be simple, but what if I screw it up? Shoulders hunch up, I breathe, and try not to rush, and voila! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Relax shoulders.