Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Long Pauses: Sufjan Stevens

I've been suffering from a wicked bout of depression this summer. Strange, as the job search ended successfully with a tenure-track position. I think the stress caught up to me when I finally stopped to assess where I was in life--what I like to think of as the rubberband effect. I also felt a creeping sense of becoming part of the problem (because if you aren't doing anything to change it...) and suddenly, my writing dried up, with a horrifying sense of really having nothing to say. I've also been reacting badly to the general decline of our nation and feeling powerless, sort of like a lone turd circling downward in a turbo toilet flush.

Well, anyway, I've been coming out of that sense of despair and looking at the world anew. I'm starting to write again and will start publishing on this political site (and at my film and literature sites)...

I just visited this website Long Pauses. While browsing Darren's film and literature writings (I like the aesthetic-structure of this site) I followed his suggestion and checked out the music of Sufjan Stevens. Its mellow, but very moving and left me wanting to hear more.

Enough of the Long Pauses of life ... here's to moving onward...

8 comments:

Susannity! (Susanne) said...

I had a wicked case of depression eons ago and somewhat struggle with it continuously. I really monitor myself so I don't go back into the pit I did years ago.

Ignorance can be bliss I think. Sometimes being aware and keeping abreast of all the crap that is going on in this world can take a toll. I'm not saying this is the cause of your depression, just that I find an uncanny correlation between bright informed individuals and depression haha. I do believe it contributes. I try very much to do something as well as know, and I find that helps me.

Hang in there Michael - I'm glad to hear you are starting to feel better.

Deleted said...

If you liked Sufjan Stevens, you might also enjoy Outloud Dreamer. The lyrics are hot, and speak, I think, to overcoming depression. There's a motivated, productive anger to them along with a sort of restless equanimity. Perhaps perspective is a better word. They're simple, but not banal.

Ricia said...

I agree with Suzannes comment, I am certain there is a direct correlation between sensitivity, intellectual capacity and the potential for depressive 'bouts.

Sometimes we need to recluse a bit to regenerate, actualize that we're only one of many, and reaffirm a faith in the importance of being one among many. Every effort counts, that's the best we can do, and if everyone got on board - every small effort would be add up to enough, unto itself.

Although it sounds over-simplified, maybe flaky, and perhaps even as a brush-off (not herein intended); this too shall pass. You'll find whatever it takes to feel better about your 'place' it all, yes? But know that you are not alone in the experience of it all.

Look forward to further reading...

Bill said...

First off, congrats on landing the tenure track position. That must have been a stressful process.

Secondly, glad to hear you're emerging from the tunnel of depression. Judging from the comments above, a lot of us have been down that road, so you have empathic ears. It's hard to face up to the world, particularly in recent times, without taking a mental beating.

I wish I had something more profound to say, but you just have to hang in there sometimes and not lose hope or perspective. There's no magical elixir for any of this, as you no doubt know.

The Continental Op said...

the job search ended successfully with a tenure-track position

Congratulations! I'm going on the market this fall; I hope your good fortune rubs off on me!

Thivai Abhor said...

Thanks Susanne,

I just got back froma week vacation in Banff where I hiked to the point of physical exhaustion... no kidding at one point i was crying because my body hurt so much, other times I was terrified because I had seen scat and tracks of a bear and I knew there were reports of a grizzly in the forest i was in... I'll write about this amazing place and my advetures.

Thanks for the good thoughts and the suggestion--peace!

Thivai Abhor said...

Thanks Harry for the link to the MP3 of Outloud Dreamer. What song is it? Or, better yet which disc is it from?

Will listen to this more...

Deleted said...

It's "Patterns" from their "Drink The Sky" album. You can get it from CD Baby, I believe.