was it ernest hemingway who talked of the black dog? it was his depression, and i wonder if he imagined it lying at his feet under that table in havana, or at the door of harry's bar in venice. sitting patiently, waiting while ern finished his cigar or pernod or toasted cheese sandwich.
i don't have a black dog. my thing is a monkey, that sits on my right shoulder, and incessantly chatters, and tugs at my hair. mischievous little shit.
how do i find a way to quieten the monkey?
my days, my waking hours, are filled with all the normal stuff that people have to do to get through their lives. there are things to do with food, washing clothes, tidying houses, vaccuuming floors, picking up papers, making sure there's only one green guide on the coffee table. changing bed linen, collecting mail, walking up and down stairs. supermarket. butcher. baker. candlestick maker.
then there's the doctor appointments, school assemblies, dentist, vet. there's the friends, lunch, dinner, text, phone, email. there's family, as above. but even more intense.
the kids, three of them with their own realities, their own egocentricities, their own special characters; flaws and delights.
all the relationships must be maintained. you can't just throw your hands up in the air and say "fuck it."
but against all this, or with all this, there is a multi-layered and many-machined grinding of activity that is my brain.
this is where the monkey comes in. he sits there on my shoulder, and feeds me the thoughts. he picks them up out of the air, pops then through my ear into my brain. and there they start spinning. so on top of all that other stuff you have to do, pay bills, have sex, watch quality television on dvd - oh my god hands up who has watched love my way? - so on top of all that, i have my brain going a million miles an hour, jumping across topics, flitting all over the place.
it's too much.
i've tried meditation. i've tried yoga. i've tried pounding at the gym.
i can't say none worked, but an hour at meditation is good. i can clear my mind and try to, really try to, keep things quiet and calm. but then i walk out and go head on into the rest of my life.
i have to find a way to make the monkey still.
does this sound like i'm going mad? really, i'm not going mad, i'm just waking up.
every day i am a little more awake.