Thursday, Jan. 08, 2004 - 2:52 a.m.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Noonday Demons and Love
Hmm, cannot keep my fingers off the keyboard. Drat. My excuse this time is that I realized I hadnt eaten a "meal" since 1pm (ie 13 hours ago... no wonder the chocolate scraps were not filling the "trou").... and one cannot draw and eat pasta with cheese at the same time!
So, once you are filled with the wonders of my previous entry's linkorama, you can consider the wonders of the book "The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression" by Andrew Solomon, who was interviewed on "Ideas" on CBC Radio One this Monday.
The man is incredibly well-spoken, enough so that I actually wore my portable radio in order to hear him over the vacuum cleaner I was attacking the rolling balls of doggy hair with (and the Christmas tree needles, since I refuse to take it down til it is dead dead dead, and not just on life support). He believes that one should take antidepressants in order to keep the brain functioning properly if one has had a major depressive episode. He says that every successive depressive episode actually physically damages the brain, much like each heart attack would create scar tissue in the heart, leading to more probability of failure in the future.
I am not sure if this is true, but it is enough of a hook to get me to want to read the book and reconsider my thoughts of medication for livable depression, as I would be wont to call it... ie that which does not fuck around your life enough as to make it unliveable. With prozac would we have the depths of creative soul we have had in the past, in litterature, music and art? Hard to say.
But what originally got me listening was his hypothesis that much depression begins as the flip side of love. He says that without the feelings of loss and the attachment that remains after losing a loved one, love would be meaningless. If you dismiss something from your heart and head as soon as it is gone, well, then what does that someone mean to you? Isn't that the definition of love? That the person is in your mind and heart even when they are not physically present?? That you are ready to disrupt your life in order to help or accomodate them??
If you are not affected by them, and can go on blithely as if they had never existed once they are gone, did you ever really love them to start with?? Isn't that the definition of an attachment disorder??
A dog that doesn't blink as you walk away, and is just as happy with someone else, is not your dog. A child that would pick up and live with any stranger without missing their mother is a fucked up child indeed. Apparently many children who lived in orphanages are like this. The adoptive parents are overjoyed to see the child lovingly sit on their lap and be affectionate "like she was always ours". Yet this same child will sit just as lovingly and affectionately on any complete stranger's lap, from the milkman to the president, since the child has never learned to make lasting attachments. Disconcerting to see "your" child be just as lovey dovey with absolutely anyone. In adults this would be someone completely promiscuous. Or someone who would willingly give up his spouse or family for the next person to fulfil the affection needs they had.
So, Solomon was postulating (and I am doing this from memory, having listened to the radio and not yet owning the book), that if there was no feelings of sadness, loss, depression, grief, upon losing a loved one, then there was no love to start with.
Here is a quote from a review: "Depression, Solomon reasons, arises from the mental frailty required by the broad spectrum of emotions we experience. It's a trade-off. To experience love, we must also possess the capacity to feel grief. Life is an endless cycle of birth and death. We mirror nature in our ability to inhabit both ends of the spectrum, positive and negative."
And from the Amazon.com review: From Publishers Weekly
"Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who despair," begins Solomon's expansive and astutely observed examination of the experience, origins, and cultural manifestations of depression.
Makes sense to me. What do you think??
I do think that I will check out that book though, although it is dauntingly long (and according to Joyce Carol Oates, not the best written!) I like the title "Noonday Demon", since personally I don't do noon that well myself. Flannellette sheets flannellette sheets!! :)
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Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
*inspired by Chaosdaily