As the cold settles in, and clouds fill the sky, some of us are more influenced than others. Taken to the extreme, the medical model officially calls this seasonal affective disorder, but I believe overall, it’s overdiagnosed in our community. After all, adjusting to change is difficult for all of us, so naturally it makes sense that the changing weather, lighting, routines, temperature, clothes, customs, etcetera would have a noticeable impact. The following poem is an ode for winter and a wish for spring.
So long that the sound of a bird’s chirp is all but forgotten
Spring’s bounty has long past rotten
Dark days, and yet ever more sun than moon
Once the cycle moves forward, we shall rejoice in the sun’s boon
I recently started a 30 day program with Vitanya which utilizes neuroscience to increase brain balance and performance. I’ve noticed slight changes since beginning two days ago. The most significant of which is related to an experience I had upon waking up this morning. See, I had been dreaming and, from my foggy remembrance, I was grasping for something. Right as I was going to secure whatever it was, I woke up and felt like I had just grasped air. It’s as if I woke up right as I was about to finish the action in my dream. This was quite curious because I’ve never had this experience before (or if I did, I do not remember). It seems that the once firm barrier between the land of dreams and the physical truth of reality has become more flexible. Maybe next time, I'll be able to grasp something more than air. In any case, to commemorate this change, I’ve crafted the following haiku.
End of a trek
Dream joined with reality
A new day has dawned
Some neuroscientists are trying to prove that our reality is a co-constructed illusion powered by the electrical signals of our brain as information is relayed via our senses. The ways that we perceive the world is a large part of this illusion. Our vision is one of the easiest senses to fool, as evidenced by the myriad of visual tricks we can use to hide things (or even people!) in plaint sight: e.g. the invisible gorilla illusion. Please enjoy the following poem on how we perceive the moon from an earthbound view.
Larger than life one moment, fleeting in many days’ breath
Where does this cosmic entity disappear to, if not death?
Bathing us sometimes with ethereal light,
It’s fullness, and blueness a sight of surreal delight
Waves always under its thrall
Even when it seems to be with us, not at all
We think our long sight and humankind’s vision has unlocked its secrets
But what about the dark, unseen side of the moon?
Grief is an elaborate process that is unique to every individual and to every event. It's five stages and the nature in which one bounces from each stage to another reminds me of the star method of bolting a car wheel. The criss-cross pattern first creates the shape of a star across the bolts and, for the best results, you can't fully complete each bolt the first time; you have to come back and secure it once the other bolts have been attended to. Similarly, in each experience of grief, often we cannot be completely satisfied with our experience of denial, bargaining, anger, depression, or acceptance until we've been through each one at least once. Even if we think each part has run its course, mindfully reflecting and checking in on each aspect while paying attention to how our minds and brains react is a great way to ensure that our grief process has been honored and respected. The following is a backwards poem I wrote to highlight just one example of how the five stages of grief resembles more of a starry pattern, than a linear one.
It is almost time for acceptance.
The end is soon to come for your depression,
For you will overcome your denial
As you’ve run the course with the tactic of bargaining
And thus, your anger subsides