Friday, May 09, 2008

depression is the flaw in love...

i've been listening to the gentle radio programmes at Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippet each night to help me find soul rest and ultimately sleep.

i found these programmes helpful...

(the Program Particulars are a useful annotated guide but in truth each page is worth exploring, there is much more that just the audio programmes themselves)

The Inner Landscape of Beauty: John O'Donohue

Brother Thay: A Radio Pilgrimage with Tich Nhat Hanh

L'Arche: A Community of Brokenness and Beauty

Speaking of Faith: The Soul in Depression

Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair. When it comes, it degrades one's self and ultimately eclipses the capacity to give or receive affection. It is the aloneness within us made manifest, and it destroys not only connection to others but also the ability to be peacefully alone with oneself. Love, though it is no prophylactic against depression, is what cushions the mind and protects it from itself. Medications and psychotherapy can renew that protection, making it easier to love and be loved, and that is why they work. In good spirits, some love themselves and some love others and some love work and some love God: any of these passions can furnish that vital sense of purpose that is the opposite of depression. Love forsakes us from time to time, and we forsake love. In depression, the meaninglessness of every enterprise and every emotion, the meaninglessness of life itself, becomes self-evident. The only feeling left in this loveless state is insignificance.
Andrew Solomon; The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression



  1. recently became reacquainted (by way of blog) with this person (don't think you would've met her on any past visits, but i bet you will):
    this is one entry i found especially redemptively thick, and there are many more.
    thanks as ever for typing it all down. it be good.

    word up,

  2. jdd,

    why the heck did you have to go from being one of my favourite people to one of my favourite writers too?
    sheesh. now i feel all intimidated. go play with the ipod deck so i can pretend you ain't lookin'.

    still there is a manuscript taking steady and ever faster growing form... so thanks for the thanks. and thanks too for the rec. the redemptively thick is always welcome.

    my love to you and your partner in crime.