Thursday, September 9, 2010

"The River of Sadness Flowing Beneath All of Life"

I'm in a real snit today.

In the last 24 hours:
  • I had the wind really taken out of my sails regarding a project I want to do;
  • I came home last night to a house with no power;
  • we stayed in a hotel and I slept barely at all;
  • and one of my dearest friends is experiencing the immanent death of a beloved pet, one of the sweetest, most well behaved and loving dogs I've ever encountered--I spoke to my friend on the phone this afternoon and we both just broke down in tears.
Crying like that with my friend sort of brought me out of the "snit" stage and moved me toward a better feeling. I guess being authentic and letting myself feel the pain of loss in true compassion/suffering with my friend kind of broke through the vagueness that comes with a 'snit.'

That's true, now that I think of it. There is a vagueness involved in 'snit-ness.'

I named some things above that put me in a 'snit,' but a 'snit' is always more than specific happenings. A 'snit,' to me, involves lots of smoldering issues that sort of come together--even though I can't name them all--but they come together and work to make my spirit irritable and my whole outlook bleak.

I remember once years ago this same friend and I were sitting out in front of the divinity school we attended, and somehow we were both aware of the pain involved in simply living. Isn't that strange? This was a very bizarre experience, really. Something had happened to her that day, and something had happened to me also -- I don't remember what those "happenings" were now, except that they were negative for both of us. As we sat there, one of us remarked that we had both come into contact with the "river of sadness that flows beneath all of life."

That's kind of how I feel today. So many smoldering issues can't help but rise to the surface eventually, at least for us sensitive, existential types....Conflict.....Death and the transitory nature of all that is....Disappointment in other people.....It's all just there. All the time, if we pay attention.

Wow. I'm really in a mood, aren't I?

It's OK. Sometimes it's OK to feel down. I've always remembered something Thomas Moore wrote in Care of the Soul. He said that sometimes we need to honor depression. Wear black, he said. Don't try to avoid it. Built a grotto in the back yard and go there now and again to simply experience, be with, this part of life.

It's OK.



Anonymous said...


Sue Lowry said...

I can really relate to the feeling of "snit-ness". It seems to happen when something that may be really insignificant by itself draws lots of other things together. Many times I don't even realize that is what has happened and I blame my mood on that one thing. I really like the phrase "the river of sadness flowing beneath all of life." It's OK to embrace our sad feelings and wade in that river sometimes. Just don't drown!

Jan said...

Katherine, I'm glad you could write about this. "Snit" is a good word for it! Wishing you peace even in "snit-iness."

Mompriest said...

I think I've been hanging out in that river for awhile now, looking for a safe harbor to come out on. (LOL at the metaphor your post has created for me...)

I can't say it's ok. I can say it just IS, and I'm doing ok, inspite of my dogs age and come toward the end of their lives, one within a year or so, the other in a couple of years, I really feel the sorrow of you and your friend.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

snit. the word so rhymes well with another that describes those types of days...

and it is OK to be down... i agree. i whole-heartedly agree. and am glad you can be so supportive to your friend...

Coleman A. Baker said...

Come to the lock-in tonight; it will help!

Jennifer said...

Oh, Kathryn. I feel as though you have located my address.