Whilst seeing my mother in Andover I had one of those nights. You wake up at 3.30am and worry about every tiny little thing until you think your brain might melt. Then the next day the sun shines, a stranger makes eye contact and smiles, you mow the grass and the neatness of it and the evocative scent remind you of sunny days despite the cast that is most definitely over, and you start to feel less glum. Nothing substantial has changed and yet you feel less glum. Thats the thing about depression. It is all internal. There have been a lot of articles published lately about depression, and all the ones I have read have been by successful and ‘out there’ women – authors and journalists – not hermits like me…….. Being sad and melancholy might be about money, about relationships – or lack of – about careers not built, contacts not maintained, slights imagined and real, terrible things that have happened and wonderful things that have not. Depression is about chemicals that do or do not circulate, hormones that ebb and flow. But behaviour can alter the chemical balance of the brain, as can food and light. Depression can lift – not every day is cloudy.
Just felt like saying……. not what I intended to post about.
What I intended was a book update.
Must recommend – probably have already – the website Goodreads . I used to use Library Thing but very quickly reached my free limit, and then found Goodreads and prefer the format. I love reading reviews and try to be a goody-two-shoes and leave reading all but the ratings until after I have formed my experiential opinion.
Finished The Glass Bead Game – an uphill slog if ever there was one – and have devoured several recommendables like a starving Ben Gunn would have wolfed through a lump of mature cheddar.
I can thoroughly recommend
All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve
Mudbound by Hilary Jordan
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
and reservedly recommend
The Lake Dreams the Sky by the exotically named Swain Wolfe, (reserved due to the floridity of the prose).
As often happens with books, I find that despite my randomly picking them off the shelf behind the bed, (where they gather a lot of dust when my reading ‘ability’ dips) on the basis of how the back cover blurb ‘grabs’ me, they often share themes or ‘messages’. All of the above speak of alienation and the effects of highly defined social mores, of how we are internally governed by the times we live in as much as by who we are emotionally and spiritually – who we are is clearly affected by the who-what-where-when of birth, be it differentiated by gender, colour, class etc. All the above make me glad to live where I do, when I do, and to bleed for those who find themselves outside the shallow circle of acceptance. All of the above make me revel in being able to vote for government whatever the weaknesses of our system and the failings of the ethos of Parliament as it is now manages itself. I used to argue that as there seems to be imperceptible differences between the parties that might realistically form the government, my not voting served as a protest – a veto. But I now feel that the battle to win me the right to vote was hard and was nobly fought and has undoubtedly broadened the levels of acceptance of diversity in our particular society and the very least I can do is mark a cross on paper in reverence.
My current read is A S Byatts The Children’s Book – also keeping with the theme and doing it with Antonia’s academically tempered exuberant adoration of all things literary. She writes a good yarn and flavours it piquantly! How’s that for purple prose?
Textile wise I am champing at the bit for something to hand quilt. Will post pics tomorrow of some finished stuff.