Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Originally uploaded by Rmz24601.
Joy of joys, my periodic insomnia has begun. Every now and then, I have the ever-so-charming experience of not being able to sleep for four or five days in a row. If I do get to bed, I sleep for about 20 minutes, roll over and count sheep until I figure that all the sheep in America have hopped over the damn fence.

I'm not completely unproductive when I'm feeling like a crazy insomniac. I walked the dog, took a shower and I'm about halfway through the book, An Unquiet Mind, by Kay Jamison. She talks about being bipolar from the perspective of both a clinician treating bipolar patients and a psychiatric patient herself.

It's a very interesting memoir, although she's much more inclined to write about her manic phases. I'm not through it yet, so I'll reserve my final judgement.

Sitting up and contemplating the universe tonight, I'm curious about the concept that people have in their minds that being insane is somehow congruent with having astounding artistic or musical skill.

Personally, I think being crazy can be kind of boring.

I suppose it's wonderful to be up all night with grandiose Ideas floating through your mind like meteors. Wouldn't that be nice?

My thoughts aren't nearly so interesting as those of a true manic off on their own little tangent. Right now, I'm thinking about my secret pal from my Yahoo! support group. How is it that a depressed girl in Phoenix comes to send care packages to a struggling single mom in Alabama?

People are so isolated and yet we build communities of support in the most unlikely of places. I'll never see this woman's face and yet, I care about her very much. I want her to have good days. Is that profound? Probably not.

I was contemplating that incomprehensible number of people in America. Hundreds of millions of people. All of us with dreams, no matter how small, and disappointments.

What a cacophony of complaints and praise we must heap upon God and our earthly leaders! I pity the president, the celebrity and the impoverished family that they promise to help with a temporary intervention for positive public relations.

I wonder about God. One of the beatitudes reads "blessed are they who are poor in spirit, for there's is the kingdom of God." Although some would interpret this to mean that the poor in spirit are those who are impoverished, but still bow before God, personally, I think those who are poor in spirit are people who are mentally ill, people whose mentality is weak through some capricious giggle of genetics.

Then there are the corporal works of mercy, derived of the seven deadly sins and the seven contrary virtues. Do you know your sins?

The sins and virtues are based on a sort of yin and yang balance:

humility vs. pride
kindess vs. envy
abstinence vs. gluttony
chastity vs. lust
patience vs. anger
generosity vs. greed
diligence vs. sloth

Of course, the seven heavenly virtues—faith, hope, charity, fortitude, justice, temperance and prudence—are articulated differently just to torture kids who have to memorize this stuff for religion tests.

Even though it sounds boring, I think prudence is the most beautiful of those virtues today. To be prudent is to be level-headed, practical, full of foresight and wisdom. It is to be wary of the glitz and glamour of the world, to cut through the crap and to appreciate the important things in life. To be good for goodness sake.

How to be good? The seven corporal works of mercy:
1. feed the hungry
2. clothe the naked
3. give drink to the thirsty
4. shelter the needy
5. bury the dead
6. visit the sick
7. minister to prisoners

I had to memorize all of this stuff in grade school and again in high school. When people get all hot and bothered about teaching morals in school, I can't help but think that memorizing these ideals did not hurt me.

I'm not trying to engage anyone in a philosophical discussion about teaching "religious" values in school. I guess I just think it's sad that people place more value of the deadly sins because they're "cool."

It's so easy to be seduced by our world. But there's a divine serenity in the virtues, a solid foundation on which to build a good family, a good person and a good life. To be virtuous is to be blessed. I solidly wish more people could be exposed to these concepts.

Ah the beauty of religion, the enticing nature it exerts on the insomniac. :)

Feeling religious. Yet another sign of an impending mania.