Listen to the Music

Black Dog

Last week, we learned that Robin Williams took his own life.  Robin always seemed sad to me.  When he was in a manic burst of energy, he almost seemed to ooze agony somehow. He was a brilliant, tormented soul.  I’ve known a few of those personally.  They are a blessing and a curse.  They touch your heart but they can’t seem to avoid hurting it too.

Since Robin died, I’ve been thinking about depression and that flat place.  Two years ago, I took my ex-husband’s gun, put it in my mouth and nearly pulled the trigger.  I wish I could say that it ended there.  I wish I could say that I considered my girls and what an ugly burden my demise would leave them with.  I did think of them.  But I also planned.  I set aside funds to rent a room and purchase a canvas tarp.  I was going to check myself into a room, lie on the tarp, put a pillow over my head and pull the trigger behind the pillow.  I reasoned to myself that it would be no muss, no fuss.  Room service, the cops..they are hardened to this kind of scene.  I figured they would appreciate that I tried to make things as clean as possible for them.

But my plan had a flaw.  I urged my ex to take my daughter to visit family for the weekend.  That was critical.  I needed to be alone.  But he refused.  In the end, the black dog went on its way.

But I guess it found poor Robin.

I admit that I continue to struggle with depression.  But tonight, I saw some fine musicians play beautiful songs and felt, perhaps for the first time in my life, such a fellowship with this community.  These are people with dirt in their hands.  By that I mean that they take the clay..their experiences, successes, failures, heartbreak..and they mold it into something worthwhile.

It is in these moments that I realize life is beautiful.  And I realize that difficult times inform the better.  And that, though all around the world, people are suffering with diseases, (Ebola) war, (Iraq/Afghanistan/Gaza/Ukraine) riots, (Ferguson) there is also music and art.

People can come together to be enriched by one another.  When we do this, we should consider what a blessing it is.

I never knew Robin.  But I know me.  And I wish I could tell him to sit in a quiet room and consider the music.  As I did tonight.

I wish I could tell him that he was gifted.

I wish I could tell him that the black dog moves on.  That life is worth living no matter how bad it hurts at times.

Instead, I will tell myself and I will tell you.

One thought on “Listen to the Music

  1. Beautifully written Wendy.

    There’s an old Turkish tale about a character called Nasrettin Hoca. There are many tales about him but one I always think of.

    One day he makes a joke about the Sultan but one of the Sultan’s soldiers overhears it and he is sentenced to death. He is given one last wish and he asks that if he can teach the Sultan’s donkey to speak after one year passes, he should be set free. The Sultan, amused, agrees. The soldiers looks aghast at the Hoca and says “are you mad, you cannot teach a donkey to talk”. But the Hoca replies “ah but my friend in one year, the donkey may die, the sultan may die…”. And so it is with life, there is always another day and another chance for the wheel to turn.

    All the best, Len (from the Muse)

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