Thursday, October 19, 2006

Curing Angina for the Soul

From my wife in her piece this month for "From the Shrink's Desk" (As a cardiologist, I can identify with this 'anginal equivalent'):
I wonder if it’s possible to have angina of the soul. It’s one of those days where I am consumed with restlessness and angst that defies rational logic – but nevertheless, there it is. Having enough years of cognitive therapy to stop a steam engine – I am unable to stop this lonely feeling. The only thing that will help is doing something artistic.

So I leave the stacked dishes, the mail pile, the unsorted clean laundry – I leave it all, and begin to arrange fall gourds and pumpkins on the porch. I commit myself to deciding if kale and fall grasses – maybe in a burgundy shade…would give me what I am looking for. I head to the nursery for a bale of hay with the zeal and gravitas of a woman on a mission. And I am. The nursery fall displays are my nitroglycerin, the soul angina eases. Who cares if it makes sense?

If you are a creative or an artist – you know what I am talking about. If you are this person – you have a resource when this soul hunger comes upon you. There is no real answer, is there? Life is hard – knit a sweater. Life is hard – loom a table runner. Really. It comes down to that.

I think how often we push away from going to the apple orchard, walking in the forest preserve, going to the candlelight chamber concert. In other cultures, this soul need is honored. Opera is for the masses, dinner is a long ritual, coffee stretches for hours – why? Because the needs of the soul as it navigates through life are real. And when are they more real than midlife.

There are so many things in life that cannot or will not be solved. So many things that linger – despite our best efforts, despite our brave face and tireless devotion to the cause.

Sometimes the only answer is respect and tenderness for the self. Some might call it surrender. Cinnamon tea, spice scented candles, lower the lights. Put some opera on the stereo. Light the fire.

It’s time.
I'm grabbing the wine, dear...


1 comment:

Dr. A said...

Great writing. Paints a colorful picture.