Tuesday, September 18, 2007

on sylvia plath and daniel day lewis

i hear that one of the marks of the onset of depression is a decline in personal hygeine. as i understand it, the common claim (of the depressed) is that it feels pointless to get oneself up in the morning and wash their bodies or their hair or their clothes when they'll only have to do the very same thing all over again the following morning. the action has no real meaning, as it requires such repitition- getting up and doing it the following day in some way indicates that performing the action the previous day was meaningless in the long term, as though that day had never happened at all. the whole tedius affair, they say, is enough to make a person suicidal- if they aren't already.

i think, however, that a more alarming characteristic is the sort who takes the most immaculate care of their appearance. they're harder to pluck out and examine because they blend in so well. and that's the idea, after all. they put in that extra effort so that no one will catch them. there are those who seek healing and there are those who mask disease with hair and makeup and fake tans.

why though?

why not seek healing?

healing. healing is such an abstract concept. to one person it could indicate a salvation, a freedom from darkness but to another- it's something altogether different.

a burden. the burden of light. and of lightness of being.

to many- lightness of being is the death of creativity. after all, you can't be a tortured artist if you're not tortured. and there is a need. there is a selfishness. there is a desire to hold onto it in order to set yourself apart.

and so you go on- traversing in and alongside these dizzying lines and formulae and outwardly, you're one of them- ironed out and painted and propped up in high heels but inwardly- you've set yourself apart. and they float and dance above you, ethereal and mindless like so many mayflies sprung forth from the sea in springtime.

but not you.

you, who lays in wait underground to one day lay in wait underground. you, who balks at the idea of healing because in your secret heart, you know that lifelong depression is the warm blanket that wraps around you- that holds you to the earth like so much gravity. and you go on because you know that that kind of darkness is the only thing that will always be familiar to you where all other things will come and go. and you go on because you know that the minute you stop washing your hair, someone is going to come along and impose a cure on you. and you go on because you know what that would rob you of and what it would leave behind:

that unbearable lightness of being.