Saturday, September 18, 2004

2.7 seconds on a bull named fu manchu

For those in the fog of depression with thoughts like molasses, I figured you probably missed this story about Linda Hamilton and her battle with manic depression. Like so many people out there, she went undiagnosed for years and the destructive influence of the disease on her daily existence left a path like a tornado through a potentially normal existence.

Life is so deeply beautiful and inspiring today. I'm finding the most mundane things stunning—the cracks in the leather on the hand-me-down couch from my parents for example. Each crease tells its own story. Just like little rivers breaking through the paths of least resistance, the serpentine wrinkles make me wonder why they formed where they did. Why there and not an inch or two to the left of right? What makes that spot the most desirable place for a miniscule wrinkle? It's just like my skin. Closer inspection makes certain patterns of the couch look like reptile scales. It makes me think of boots made of crocodiles. When I was little, I used to think that animals would live without their skin. I figured that somewhere, there was a crocodile or a cow walking around with its muscles and blood exposed to the air, a ruby phantom of former grandeur. I was quite the little environmentalist.

I still have enough perspective to know that these observations are gifts of mania. Few people contemplate the texture of a cheeto or the shifty eyes of gorging finches with as much intensity or fascination as my mind indulges itself with right now. After months of sluggish and dull observations, a world so full of ideas, eternal truths and mind-boggling beauty is as welcome as a cool breeze flowing across an asphalt parking lot on a 110 degree day. It's enough to insulate me from the next horror behind this illusion of grace.