And how my moods change drastically.
Thirty minutes after posting “I feel happy” last night, I was down in the dumps. In the pits. In the “depths of despair”, as my fictional bosom friend would say.
I felt cynical and crabby and not to be messed with. I felt sad and disappointed with myself. As I talked with an old English major friend on MSN Messenger about his writing, I felt more and more depressed with the fact that I’m not writing. I used to be a poet – what has happened to me? The mere thought of trying to write a poem is like tying a stone to my heart and dropping it in a lake. It seems impossible; it seems futile; it seems a million miles away.
Then as I talked to another old friend about the loss of faith, I felt all the more depressed. Where is my faith? Where is the joy of my salvation? Why do I hold on when everything around me seems to contradict what I believe? (My answer: “‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’”)
And that rain that I thought made the night so “quiet and cool”? It sucks. It really sucks. I hate the rain. There is too much of it all year ‘round, and I’m sick of it. (But at least it’s not a hurricane, right?)
Scotland is just depressing. I know it sounds romantic and brave and beautiful, but if you believe that, you’ve never lived here. And it’s not just me – ask any Scot and they will tell you – it’s a miserable land. I didn’t understand for the first wee while why everyone gave me the raised eyebrow when they heard that my husband and I decided to live here instead of there, but now I fully understand – and I raise my own eyebrow at our decision.
But of course, it’s not as bad as I make it out to be. Well, actually, it is, but I’m not taking it as badly as I could. If I really let the rain soak into my soul, the way it has the power of doing, I’d be in bad shape. But something holds me up. Something has always held me up, in the lowest of days. I’m not able to scrape across the floor in utter hopelessness, because the rope that holds me upright isn’t long enough. Sometimes I’m fair swinging upside down with my arms outstretched, reaching for the bottom, but the rope is still knotted firmly around my waist. I couldn’t let go if I tried.
As the psalmist said, the waters have come up to my neck. But they will not drown me. God’s that faithful.