Black clouds. Rain clouds. Grey clouds. Large black dogs with floppy ears and wobbly feet. Shadowy hands holding you back. Globs of dark fur, drenched in the rain, peering at you through an alleyway as deep as dreadful. All these things, and I’m sure many more, have been ways that people have tried to visualize depression.
For me, I’ve always considered it a bit more comically, more commercially even. Do you remember that little guy from the Zoloft commercials? It’s so cute, but so sad, so small yet so poignant, altogether insignificant.
It’s a frown, a sigh, an expression of anguish or uncertainty as the weather darkens, but you look outside and it’s still sunny and warm.
Perhaps it helps to visualize depression. Perhaps it helps to make it human. Or perhaps putting a face to these feelings isn’t at all what we need.
If you’re a sidebar solicitor, you might have noticed recently the “Realms of Wonders” category list has begun to change–“Essays” is slowly vanishing (but not quite slowly enough) while new categories like “Poverty” and “Equality” have popped up. This, I’m afraid, is but a small echo of what’s to come–tidings of the new face of the Writingwolf that I simply cannot keep secret until the forthcoming reveal.
Category confusion strikes again!
However, instead of trying to subtly ignore these obvious alterations, I thought I’d take a moment to peer into the future (and look deeper into myself) and try to answer an important question that’s begun to bother me: Why are tags and categories all that important after all?
As a child I detested it. Now as an adult I have come to appreciate it. I may still at times despise it, but I succumb to it nonetheless. In this word there is synthesis. Togetherness. Means and ideals.
I can’t recall any memories of importance, but I can imagine some long lost day in the second or third grade when, before Hebrew school began, my friends and I would ride the wagon down the hill behind our synagogue. Sometimes I didn’t like going down the hill. Sometimes I would much rather sit and talk on the swings.
Sometimes we did both.
At six or seven we could see that both was better.
Transitions are tough. Just look at me–I’m moving from one college to another, I’m living out of the house for the first time ever, and I’m actually (yes, it’s true!) starting to drive on actual roads. It’s a lot to handle. A lot to sort through and make sense of. In this melting pot of emotions, I somehow have to sort through all of these new feelings and figure out what they are–am I excited? Nervous? Some mix of the two? It’s not always easy to tell. Am I busy because I genuinely need to be, or am I just distracting myself?
Those questions plague a lot of us during times of transition, but do you ask those questions when you edit your story’s beginning? “But it’s the beginning,” you cry, “not a transition!” And that’s where you’re mistaken–the beginning is a transition: It’s the point where the reader transitions into a new world.
If you think moving on campus is a transition, how would you feel about moving into another world altogether?