Sunday, January 28, 2007

THE DEPRESSED HERMIT

Two things I heard on NPR this week struck me. First, David Lynch opined that it was hard, if not impossible, to be creative when one is depressed. That makes sense - in my case, anyway. It has been very hard for me to be truly creative for the last few years, not just sort-of-productive. I have been productive but in a menial way. Knitting and drum carding take some thought and effort, but does not entail what I would call creativity.

The other thing I heard was from a self-styled hermit. He said that because he goes for weeks without actually speaking to another person, even though he emails and maintains a website, that it is hard for him to think and communicate sequentially. This must be what is going on when I feel I can't put two sensible sentences together. Most days, the only person I speak to is Sweetie. And sometimes, when Sweetie works way too much, I don't get to talk to him hardly at all. The critters don't count. And I don't think the nattering of the committee in my head really counts, either.

Most of the time, I don't much care to be around people. I don't want to talk to 99% of the local population. I'm sorry, but if I am going to talk with someone, I'd just as soon it be with a person that has an active mind and an encompassing interest and isn't a self-described Bush fanatic. I have been seeking some sort of Laconian Thoreau for the past 12 years in vain. Maybe there is one here, but I am tired of searching.

All the failed efforts at being creative over the past several months make me even more depressed. I look at work I did 3 or 6 years ago and am amazed. I did that??? I try now, but it seems forced - the spark isn't there. And it could be aging, too. I mean, even Einstein did his best work in 1905 - and not much else for the rest of his life. Maybe I should settle, but I don't want to. I want to have the energy to make the work that my brain, at times, still imagines.

I am working on the German Doily shawl and I want you to know that I have actually swatched the continuation of the pattern that I graphed. Maybe my brain power has been decreased or maybe I have learned a lesson, but I admit it is hard for me to imagine what the graph of the lace stitches will look like in the flesh - so to speak. And then I go to a site like See Eunny Knit! and I look at her incredible cable swatches and I think that maybe I am not so smart and swatching isn't so stupid, after all. There may be knitting savants out there that can immediately grasp how a knit 2 together, yarn over is different from a yarn over, slip, slip knit 2 together. And you know, if that is all I did every day, I most likely wouldn't have a problem with it, either.

Meander, meander. My brain is all over the place even as I try to write this.

Also, the Enthusiastimine has lost its effect. Dammit! It was great whilst it lasted.

2 comments:

nancyneverswept said...

Or it could just be menopause, or peri-menopause, and you'll snap out of it. Think positively!

Valerie said...

Some of it's winter, no? I find it hard to be creative — or cheerful — when it's cold. Something deep in my nature wants to crawl under a pile of cats and sleep through it.

I had a few years, though, when I really thought I was losing my intelligence/talent/etc. It's starting to come back, now, and while I don't understand it, it's somewhat of a relief to discover that I have cycles, and so that, when I am feeling least successful, there is likelihood that I'll cycle back up to 'myself' at some point..

Hope that happens for you soon.