The Art of Depression: Conclusion

Well, ponderbots, we have reached the end of The Art of Depression:A Mini-Series.

I want to again thank each artist who boldly and graciously sent in their work. It has been a wonderful month of exploring depression from different angles.

I hope you readers have been as inspired as I have by all of the incredible pouring out of spirit and creativity. Take that inspiration and use it to fuel your own creativity!

Stay tuned for upcoming series!

The Art of Depression: Karly Robinson

Artist:

Karly Robinson

Portrait

Do the next thing,

take that next step

God only knows where,

but you know how

And I know why

Don’t think ahead,

you’ll want to die

God only knows how hard you try

And I know why

You perfected the pain,

soaked up the rain

God only knows when to free your chain

And I don’t know why it’s taking so long

I just know you’ll come out strong

Ending up right where you belong

Hold your head high,

keep your eyes up

God only knows where,

but you know how

And I know why

Don’t give up hope,

you have a light

God only knows it can shine so bright

And I know why

You perfected the pain,

soaked up the rain

God only knows when to free your chain

And I don’t know why it’s taking so long

I just know you’ll come out strong

Ending up right where you belong

Step by step

Breath by breath

You are going to make it through

Through to the other side of your future

Step by step

Breath by breath

You are going to make it through

Through to the other side of your future I know

You perfected the pain,

soaked up the rain

God only knows when to free your chain

And I don’t know why it’s taking so long

I just know you’ll come out strong

Ending up right where you belong

The Art of Depression: Shannon Light

Artist:

Shannon Light lives in Alaska and is well known for her inventive choreography and passionate dance teaching. Having faced many traumas, she uses her skills and creativity to bring beauty out of the trials she’s faced. She builds others up and shares her own stories to bring hope to those who have faced similar struggles.

About the Piece:

Shannon wrote these song lyrics to paint the picture of her personal experience with Bipolar Disorder.

Skin

Some days I feel everything

The others are just numbing

Can never find the in between

I’m always all or nothing Half my bones in the city streets

the other half sleeping in my sheets And I don’t think they’ll ever get

The chance to finally meet I never said, I never said that I wanted

I never said, I never said that I wanted

This

Never wanted to be here now

One foot in the grave

The other on the ground I can’t process what I’m feeling now

This skin I can do without


Happiness and butterflies

Overwhelmed, entranced with my own mind

Life created for me tonight

The world’s my playground I dance in my spotlight

Wake up to realize I don’t recognize

The person in my eyes

Ready to terrorize I’m alone again

Monsters creeping in

All the butterflies

Lost inside my mind

Emptiness and darkened skies

Overwhelmed, alone inside my mind

Hiding in my web of lies

No one knows I’m fucking terrified

Wake up to realize I don’t recognize

The person in my eyes

Dressed up in disguise It’s time to finish it

There’s nothing worse than this

All my emptiness

Fills me up tonight I can’t get dressed,

 my hair is a mess I can’t do anything, restless wandering

Suddenly breathless,

I’m paralyzed I feel the butterflies

Entranced with my own mind


It’s all the things I never say

It’s the parts of me I hide away

Storms rage inside of me tonight

It’s all the prayers I never pray

The endless nights I spend awake

Wars rage inside of me tonight

It’s all the damage I have done

The mistakes I’ll never overcome

I fall apart again tonight It’s all the things I never say

That make me hate myself today

I can’t change who I am inside

I’m drowning in my own pride


You walk through the door

My heart hits the floor

Somethings changing

My body’s shaking

Pretend that I don’t care

You’re laughing as I stare

We keep playing this game

Day after day

The smell of my perfume

The way I walk towards you

Somethings changing

Your body’s shaking

Now you’re pulling me in

Your lips against my skin

Hands wrapped around my waist

Why do I feel safe?

Maybe I’m just another girl

Maybe you think I’m immature

Maybe it’s you that’s insecure I don’t care anymore

Gotta push you away

Like I did yesterday

Temperature rising

I’m realizing

 It’s all the wrong things

That make you right for me

 I’m giving in

You’re giving up again

You don’t know I know why

You choose her every time

Emptiness in your eyes

I’ll wait while she runs you dry

You’re just too comfortable

In feelings that you know

But baby I

I will change your mind

You walk out the door

My heart hits the floor

Tomorrow begins

And we do it all again

And maybe I

Someday I

Will change your mind


Time slows

Lost in your eyes and

I Don’t know

Where my disguise is

Your mind

Wrapped up, entangled in mine

Tonight I cry

 Lost in your arms and you

Know why I‘m scared of trying

You’ll be

Right there reminding me just

To breathe

And all those nights I spent alone

Wondering why I let you go

Now I know you’re always there

Eyes in mine, hands in my hair

You pick me up, I’m finally safe

All my doubts begin to fade

I hang on every word you say

My fear of falling falls away

Time flies

Alive in your eyes, baby I will defy

The demons you fight

Break you free

Free to fall back into me Into trust

This is the story of us

You’ll find

Someone’s chasing your mind

For the first time


I like the way you look at me

In your eyes,

no disguise, just galaxies

You’re pushing past my past just to get to me

I like the sweet things that you say

When you’re gone,

I’ll be strong, keep them locked away

I took a chance on a chance and you’re here to stay

Just like yesterday


I’m on my knees

Lost in the empty space

Surrounding me

I’m giving up on who I thought I’d be

I can’t restart my broken heart

Then I look up

Oh oh oh

So many stars

Oh oh oh

It’s not so dark

Oh oh oh

I won’t fall apart

Oh oh oh oh oh Oh oh oh oh oh

So many stars

Down in the dirt The tears are falling

And although it hurts

There’s hidden beauty where

The darkness lurks

I’ll find the light, it’s time to fight

Just look up

Oh oh oh

So many stars

Oh oh oh

It’s not so dark

Oh oh oh

I won’t fall apart

Oh oh oh oh oh Oh oh oh oh oh

So many stars

The Art of Depression: Evan Hall

Artist:

Evan Hall

“Return of King Melancholia”

Behold,

Bemoan,

Forebode,

Forewarn,  

Bleak the blackened gates open

King melancholia rides home

On his dread horse Morose.  

The misanthropes are at their old games,

Murdering pheasants in the once mirthful meadows,

Their howls drowning out the coo of the doves.

Bleak, bleak

This bittersweet day

Starless every night  

Lightless every day.  

Have loose  

The ghouls will play,

Plundering

Pillaging  

Plundering

Pillaging.

Siphoning my well of endless love

How I wished the vampiress  

Would have stayed.  

For it was her fangs I betrayed.  

The Art of Depression: Marc Cid

Artist:

Marc Cid

Follow His Work:

https://neutronstardust.wordpress.com/

Things You Can Say About Depression

That You Can’t Say About Bronchitis

0.

I have bronchitis, I told them,

so I’ll be keeping quiet,

and to myself, if I go out at all.

Sorry in advance for all the coughing.

Let me help you, they said.

I.

said I fixed my bronchitis

when I quit cigarettes.

I told her I didn’t smoke.

Then you don’t have

bronchitis.

II.

said everybody gets bronchitis

every now and then, you just need

to stop thinking about your lungs,

find a way to distract yourself

from breathing. How ‘bout

you pick up a night shift

at the bar I’m working at?

I’ll put in a good word

if you just stop coughing

all the time. Every time

you let yourself cough,

you’re making it worse.

III.

said bronchitis is a symptom

of modernity, the manifestation

of the misalignment between

your bronchial tubes

and your invalid attitude.

You should try doing yoga.

IV.

the record, I was too busy

doubling over from clusterfrag

coughs detonating behind

my ribcage to respond.

They patted me on the back

and nodded sagely.

My point exactly. See?

I know what I’m talking about.

The Art of Depression: Kirsty Niven

Artist:

Kirsty Niven

Follow Her Work:

https://wutheringmites.wordpress.com/

Pieta

I have become utterly numb.
My skin has hardened to cement,
a statuesque shell of dissociation.
Blood streaks my skin, bruises blossom,
but no pain can get in.
This cocoon has petrified itself around me,
solidifying under every slight,
every glancing blow, every slice.
I watch the cigar burn down
until the embers graze my calloused fingers,
just to see if I can still burn.
The singed scent fills my nostrils
and yet coldly I only look on.
A laceration, a punch, a kiss from the whip –
and still nothing is all I feel.
Each nerve is dead, stillborn in my veins.
Love ricochets against me, unrecognised –
too foreign a concept to a fossilised soul.
Only the nectar drips of wine seep through
the stone of my scar tissue;
a red tear leaking through my mask.

The Art of Depression: Andrew Wetmore

Artist:

Andrew Wetmore is a poet from Anaheim. He is the lead singer and writer in The Gold Harvest and owner of Subphonic Press, maker of fine DIY chapbooks and zines. His poetry has appeared in The Los Angeles Press, Crooked Teeth Lit, City Brink, The Insomniac Propagandist, and many others. 

About the Piece:

These poems are from a series he wrote called The Building of Saints. After he moved here he spent a lot of time driving around going to job interviews. Often in his spare time found himself sitting in his car in front of all these funky apartment complexes which he used for poem names (he is originally from Chicago so the large complexes are very new to him) and wrote using the numbers for the addresses as his word count per line in the stanzas.

Follow His Work:

Instagram: @thegoldharvest and @subphonic_press

Pine Meadows

Maybe night may

shape faces. Blush on ivy leaves, brush the solicitor’s

cheeks. Split ends

strand

yellow pylons cracked

vertically. Through the neighbor’s walls, washing children down the

sink. I have

great

affection for those

left to ruin. The water’s post baptism, still. Washing

children down the

sink.

Meridian Gardens

Sunday televised sports

salt on your tongue

vaguely

eavesdropping

on another’s idea,

double checking their facts.

I

have

been subtly angry

stranded amid overstuffed cushions.

Halfway

between

gravity and sleep,

dust settles over the

family

portraits.

The Art of Depression: Young Toledo

Artist:

Young Toledo

Follow His Work:

Instagram:@yungtoledo_

FUCK DEPRESSION

I wake with weight of the world on my chest.

I look at the ceiling and ask why lifeʼs a mess.

These days iʼm wanting to sleep more and wake less,

because my day to day is feeling more and more like a test.

i get out of bed and go on a walk.

so i can be outside and be alone with my thoughts.

i know i know… i should probably try and talk,

but every time i DO my throat STOPS,

and i COUGH irrationalities

and faux maladies to follow SUIT.

Fuck depression.

talons that tear at your mind remain its lethal weapon,

and it takes no days off not even for one second

it rages like a cat thatʼs feral and it hurts to the bone.

the pain seeps to the marrow, parents tell you your thoughts are overblown.

the cuts on your wrists,

your parents insist,

are a phase of being a kid.

but now that youʼre big the cuts on your wrists twists past your ribs, climbs up your spine, then lines your mind where the new cuts sit,

 but i have time.

iʼm coming back from my walk 15 minutes till nine

so about 8:45.

the weight on my chest has grown a little light,

and iʼve gathered all the pieces of my life

that i could find.

but to say iʼm fine, would

just be a lie.

The Art of Depression: Acoustic Librarian

Artist:

Acoustic Librarian is a songwriter, open mic performer and technology librarian. He lives in Orange County with his wife and their two cats.

Mirrors

Lyrics

Many a mile I’ve wandered

Through this house of mirrors,

Searching to find a way out,

Knowing my home isn’t here.


Amid the smoke that surrounds me,

Faces appear in the glass;

Are they long-sought fellow travelers

Or reflections of self that flow past?


Still I desire perfection

In a world distorted and crazed,

To discern beyond all illusion

The meaning of this maze.


Guide my paths to what’s real,

For glimpses are all I can see;

And make my image more truly

That which You meant it to be.


Oh Lord, this day, these things I pray.

Oh Lord, this day, these things I pray.

Oh Lord, this day, these things I pray.


I plunge down slides, then start to climb

Towards heights that seem out of reach;

Pass through tunnels that move and spin

On floors that shift under my feet.


I enter a room full of blackness,

A spotlight shines in my face.

Do I hear whispered laughter

Or murmurs of welcome and grace?


Can I recall the reflection

That shown when the glass was clear?

Do I believe in perfect love

That casts out all of my fear?


Guide me towards others who walk this path,

For glimpses I’m starting to see;

And make our images truly

That which You meant them to be.


Oh Lord, this day, these things I pray.

Oh Lord, this day, these things I pray.

Dear Lord, this day, these things I pray.

The Art of Depression: Lauren Scharhag

Artist:

Lauren Scharhag

Paper Wasps

Peak housewife era, when television taught that

women were supposed to wear heels and a smile

to vacuum, arrange doilies, make molded

strawberry salad from a Good Housekeeping recipe.

If you didn’t like it, you still had to abide it.

But she enjoyed laundry, even when she was young,

bent over a zinc tub, scrubbing clothes out on a washboard

alongside her own grandmother, who used to give her

a glass of beer as they worked (later bouts

of alcoholism notwithstanding). She always said

she associated the scents of hops and brewer’s yeast

with her grandmother, and decades later,

that washboard still hung on her kitchen wall.

When she got her first electric machine, she still

hung everything out to dry, lighter fabrics semi-transparent

in the sundrenched yard, aromatic with pepper

and tomato plants, her sundress semi-transparent

as she turns, bends, lifts the fabrics to the line.

She either didn’t notice or didn’t think anything of

a wasp perched black and gold on the head of a clothespin,

like the old absurdity about pinheads and dancing angels,

only this one was, at best, the avenging variety, and,

at worst, batting for the other team,

with the infernal whine of its drained stained-glass wings,

that first sting white-hot as judgment, and they just

keep coming: the nest in the hollow metal post

of the clothesline, gray honeycomb scarcely visible

through the opening, and everything is light light light

until she passes out.

When she wakes, there will be ice packs for the swelling,

baking soda pastes, her then-husband with tweezers

to pluck out the stingers that broke off in her skin.

I was always amazed that she could go on after that,

hanging her laundry out to dry right up until 1987

when her last husband left her, and her demons

began to overrun her skull. Yet, somehow,

she never stopped finding godliness in clean sheets,

in the scents of bleach and fabric softener.

These are the scents I associate with her.

It took me a while to realize why her demons won.

There was no joy in her life that they

couldn’t worm their way into, plant

their insidious nest, and wait to swarm.