– or, a SomberScape & Inspirational Quotes & Vampire-Killing
Today it was almost like my phone, rather than me, was suffering from depression.
You know how it is. If you are really depressed, even the sunniest landscape turns into a Somberscape. That’s what depression does to you. Well, today it was my phone’s camera that kept seeing somberscapes. Even though it was a sunny day.
Nature was in that strange limbo where winter seems to have gone, but spring has not yet arrived. At least not where I was taking a walk. If there really was any fresh green, then it was still out of sight, still sleeping in its secret hiding place underground, deep down under the rotting brown remnants from yesteryear.
Yes, the sun was shining in a blue sky – but for some strange reason, it didn’t make much of a difference. At least not to my camera:
Click the image if you want to a huge one. Do you want to be different? Would you like to come out of the closet and proudly install a true Depression Wallpaper on your computer, instead of some lush green Microsoft pasture?
Wouldn’t this picture would make the perfect Depression Wallpaper? An essential SomberScape, sunshine and all. Yes, maybe this one is extra somber because of the sunshine. It looks like my camera wanted to demonstrate that in an authentic desolate Somberscape, even a sunny sky is powerless, will make no difference and bring no colors at all. Yes, rub it in, you stupid camera!
To save myself from somberness, I gave myself an assignment. This is what I often do when on a long walk. It helps me to stay active and concentrated. Any context-related assignment will help me to keep registering things alongside the path, will prevent my mind from sinking away into the dark realm of Voldemort while my legs would keep walking on in a mindless way.
If you want a simple example of such an assignment, read my report on 1000 Shades of Green. That time it was all about registering colors. Well, it was a different time of the year.
I don’t know why, but my assignment this time was to look carefully at my environment and to pick up the silly Inspirational Quotes that were hidden all over the place.
Let me explain this first: I really do not like those Inspirational Quotes that you find plastered over every You-Can-Easily-Overcome-Your-Depression-Website. Really.
Think about it. If you actually believe that you can fight depression by offering people some well-meaning Inspirational Quotes, this is just as stupid as thinking we can cure cancer or multiple sclerosis or any other serious illness by reading some uplifting Inspirational Quotes to the blood-coughing paralyzed half-dead patients. Really, what do they think, those Quoters? Is it just naivety, or don’t they take depression seriously?
Well, I’ll save this rant for some other time. While walking on through my SomberScape, I tried to imagine what dumb Inspirational Quotes might be found in whatever I saw. This assignment was at least a little fun.
Take the flooded fields and everything in my photo above. That particular view brought up Inspirational Quotes like: “Walk where you can, swim where you can’t.” Or: “If you lost your way in life, find and follow the fence.” Or: “Patience lasts longer than any flood.” Or “Spring leaves will sprout only from the barren branches of winter.” Not too bad, huh?
As you see I passed a spot where beavers, anticipating spring, had already resumed an ambitious gnawing project. So here is the Inspirational Quote those beavers provided me with: “To build something, we always need to destroy something first.”
Wow! I really began to enjoy this dumb game. Of course the beavers’ work also told me “The smallest teeth…”
Wait, this one is easy, so you should try and finish it yourself. To get the hang of it. Give it a try, wherever you happen to be right at this moment, just look around, and soon you’ll be producing Inspirational Quotes by the dozens!
Killing the Vampire
Those busy beavers also had another present for me. They had left a gnawed-off branch right on my path. And at the very moment when I took a photo, I suddenly saw its magic. Purely by coincidence, I had found a stake that killed the cruel blood-thirsty Vampire Of My Depression. At least for a moment.
You do know how to kill a vampire, don’t you? You could try a pure silver knife, if you have nothing better, but the very best is a big wooden stake that you drive right through the vampire’s heart.
Well, one look and suddenly, immediately I understood that the beavers and the sunlight had already done this ugly job for me. A wooden stake, right through the heart!
And now, I really had to grin. Do you believe this? I was almost laughing!
While I walked on, new crazy Inspirational Quotes kept coming up: “Do not ask whether what you see is real, but see whether it is real what you ask.”
And: “The horizon and your shadow have one in thing in common: you shouldn’t try to chase them.”
I must say I came home enjoying myself.
• tip: I cannot tell you this often enough. Do take a walk. And with each step, take a careful look at whatever is near you. (Disclaimer: this is not an Inspirational Quote)