Climbing the Gray Mountain

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This is a good week, though I am battling fatigue. This is a good week. But I have had many bad weeks. To my brothers and sisters who wrestle, as I do, with depression: You are not in that gray alone. You are not at the bottom of that gray mud alone. You are not crawling up this gray mountain alone. We are going to climb this mountain together. I don’t care if this old granite bastard has a top or not, or a pass, or a summit, or a visitor center up there. I am going to keep climbing it. One step at a time. You are not alone, and it is good for me to know that you are crawling up this slope, too.

Or, if today you are lying in the mud at the mountain’s bottom but are still breathing, well, there are a lot of us lying in the mud still breathing. I would like to say, Those stars up there are very lovely, when we are lying on our backs. Except I will not say that. Because actually we are staring up at a whole bunch of gray, clammy fog. And sometimes it parts, and then yes, those couple of stars glinting though the wrack are very lovely. Though very, very far away. But sometimes there is just a whole lot of mud and a whole lot of fog. And then it doesn’t do anyone any good to say, “Look at those pretty stars.” But if that is today, and you can’t feel anything in this mud, and you can only breathe, well, we are breathing together. You and me and God and a few million people mired in the same gray and probably a few earthworms or a lungfish, here and there. All breathing.

There will be again the scent of pine, of rain on earth, of leaves sweating in the day heat, and the touch of a kiss and the touch of the sun. Some other day. Right now, we are breathing. And that is enough.

Stant Litore

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