Sarah Pizer-Bush and Darice Jones

Darice Jones
“My Echo”
Inspiration piece

Blues Diary 2022
By Sarah Pizer-Bush

Spent winter months cloaked in blues again. So many feelings suppressed. Sediment. Layers of loneliness, grief, rage, and despair. Undergrowth covered by numbness, sacred sleep, and dissociative practices, with whispers of compassion earned over the years. Spent birthday crying again. Cycle settled in around Thanksgiving; stayed until Passover.

Like the tarot card where the person hangs upside down, time spent partly buried, often heavy and dense. During blues much goes underground. Humor, wisdom and joy float in severed spaces – uneasy and inaccessible. But, over the years, I have learned to break rules. Like these unspoken rules in too many settings:

1. We don’t talk about blues. Definitely not in personalized and specific detail. Because, stigma is still a thing and people get uncomfortable.

2. When someone asks how we are doing, we say, “Good.” Then they can respond, “Good,” and smile, and walk away bolstered by an easy exchange of pleasantries.

At work, someone asks me how I am one day, I say, “OK.” They say, “Just OK?” I say, “That was rounding up.”

During times cloaked in blues, resistance to social conventions is required. Saying no is necessary. Phone calls unreturned, texts unanswered. Connection is there, but at a distance. Grateful for friends and family who understand. Who have learned to stay, but not push. Grateful for a therapist who sees the whole and can be gentle and kind – inoculation against shame that sets in when one is not living life in ways valorized on commercials and social media.

The push for productivity and growth in this culture is relentless. If we are not doing, we are not worthy. During underground months, metaphors of seeds can be helpful. In nature, all states have worth, are part of the growth and transformation of life. A seed must spend so much time waiting for the right combination of air, moisture, and sun to erode the shell and help unfurl what is within.

During this time of little outer movement, we navigate unseen inner landscapes. Despite how it might seem, nothing is not happening. Seeking is occurring. Healing is happening. These times necessitate new words and symbols only partially shaped, more felt than spoken, to steer through spirals of inner fog.

When it is time to reemerge, the blooms come so quickly it is surprising. The narrow places stretch. Hues of hope heard in the song of birds or the timing of a podcast that gives voice and shape to a feeling brewing within. A bridge alights, as if out of nowhere, leading somewhere new.


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