When I was in the hospital, I used to describe my way of living as having crammed myself into a teeny tiny, misshapen box. It wasn't comfortable. It wasn't what I wanted. I existed only to meet the expectations (or fit into the boxes) of others, even when they had expressed no expectation. I had to get out. Some time just before I left the hospital, I felt like I had crawled out of that box. My work wasn't done.
Recently, I have been describing my post-hospitalization progress as existing in a fog. Today as I was singing songs in my head, a habit I use to distract myself, I remembered a time when I sang out loud and often. How I miss feeling that free! One year, on a late competition entry, I learned an aria from The Medium, called "Black Swan." For some reason, today, that song came into my head. "The sun has fallen and it lies in blood. The moon is weaving bandages of gold. . . . With silver needles and with silver thread, the stars stitch a shroud for the dying sun." Those words always haunted me a little. Today, they spoke to me.
As those lyrics bounced around in my head, I realized that the "fog" is perhaps better described as a shroud, one that I climbed under when I felt like I was "dying" and that now I am trying to lift. A silver shroud stitched by the stars sounds like such a beautiful, tragic thing. My emotional existence is a beautiful, tragic thing. Perhaps that was my obsession with the song in the beginning, which I sung, not surprisingly, during my first bout of depression.
I haven't quite been able to free myself from the emotional limitations I set while I suffered from this most recent experience. I see glimpses, as if the shroud is lifted briefly from my face so that I might see the world I so vaguely remember, so that I might have reason to fight harder to get back there. The thawing my soul is doing feels so freeing today. Today the shroud feels more like a blanket, one that perhaps I don't need to use to be safe and warm anymore....