Creativity yearns and churns,
Stretches and aches, bogged down
by the relentless nagging, driven
by the ardent and fierce tingles
of sinuous standings.
Almost unbidden, in a moment
of neglect, it erupts and breaks free
bursting forth in weightlessness,
Sucking in the lifeblood of release
to dance wildly across a kaleidoscopic
field of endless imaginings.
Until, abruptly, without warning,
the vat of endless energy lies empty,
spent, gone, leaving only a repugnant
void where boundless possibility
A vacuum remains. A deafening
silence. Nothingness. The pot is
stirred. Nothing. Then Despair and
the churning begins. The questions.
The doubts. The push of the whys,
the hows, the wherefores, the if onlys,
bathed in the foaming, frothing, noxious
weight of self-incrimination, the debris field
of stunning incompletion.
Creativity. It yearns and bends and burns.
Endlessly. Until…it doesn’t and then
the weight of it kills.
RIP Robin Williams
I cannot yet rejoice for the gifts left behind by the creative genius of Robin Williams. There were so many, but in this moment they pale in comparison to my deep, almost familial awareness of, and sorrow for, the pain he must have suffered. I know that kind of pain, some version of it at least, though I could never claim to know what must have driven him in the end to give up. I do know that you take it until you can’t anymore.
Giftedness is a blessing and a curse. Who hasn’t recognized the underbelly of a leaning, a talent, the dark side of our greatest joy. I suspect the more gifted one is, the darker the shadow. One cannot always walk in the light. One cannot always handle and direct such power with grace and wisdom. Sometimes it is bigger than the one who is holding it.
Depression. It kills. It maims and destroys. It’s not an upper middle class flu to be satisfied by a prescription of antidepressants. It is dark and virulent. It is insatiable in its desire to lay its victim beneath a blanket of darkness, leaving behind no windows, no reason, no answers.
Intelligence cannot hold sway over depression. Altered perspective cannot turn its head. Intentional action will never be a guaranteed win. It is not within the power of the victim to slay this demon, as it is often too big, too overpowering, too debilitating to manage. Alone.
Alone. The worst part of carrying this beast. It renders one entirely without connection, without resources, without guidance. No matter how enormous the gift, the intelligence, the creativity, the joy and desire to live. Sometimes it wins. Sometimes only death brings release and relief. Blissful silence. Perfect peace. An answer at last.
Today I cry for my loss, our loss. I cry for the toll this still too often unmanageable disease has wrought on some of the most gifted among us. It seems an uneven exchange for what they have given to us.