"Tis the Season"

Amid holiday parties, an anonymous person tacked a message to a community bulletin board:  “Sometimes I get so tired of masquerading that I am happy.”

I was asked how to respond professionally.

Like a friend, I said.

Write on the same note and leave it in exact spot where it was originally pinned to the bulletin board.

“I know what you mean.   Call me.  (Telephone number of center’s counselor)”

The mornings are very cold here and, now, dark as well.  The sun does not make it’s appearance until nearly 7 AM.

When I drive at this early morning hour, I understand many more things that require no academic training.  Black ice. Beauty. Memory of Christmas Past. Headlights.

I am not alone.

©Pat Coakley 2009


7 comments on “"Tis the Season"”

  1. When I read the writers’ comment the first time, it occurred to me that an entirely different meaning would be realized if a comma was placed after masquerading.
    As if to say that ” I forgo the need to masquerade- therefore I am happy.”

    For anyone teetering on the ledge of depression, the holidays with their forced merriment, blow like an unwelcome gust.
    I used to be acutely aware while still in NYC, that the invisible, anonymous wanderers must suffer an enormous disconnect, squeezed in between Bergorf shopping bags and curb side waiting limos.

    Three words I don’t want to read in terms of your happiness and safety are black ice and driving.

    And no, you are not alone.

    Stark, startlingly somber image Pat.

    • That’s interesting the way it could have been interpreted if a comma was placed…I didn’t see it until you pointed it out! NYC sidewalks of haves and have nots are particularly striking and enormous disconnect is a good way of phrasing it! Bon Bon’s Bon Mots. Cheers amidst stark, startling and somber muffin tops.

  2. What a gift you are.

  3. When I saw your image my immediate thought was how dangerous the roads are during the holiday season.

    Abraham Lincoln once said, “people are as happy as they decide to be”. This is of course directed at, “normal” people (those rare birds!).

    Over the years I’ve had a few “experiences” with mentally ill people and I’ve come to realise how ill equipped I am to help them, other than to try and get them to seek professional help.

    I write this because there are a lot of people out there who think that depression can be cured with a, “hey come on, things aren’t so bad. Snap out of it!”

    • You are right, the snap out of it approach usually just pushes people further away but this type of reaching out that I mention in the post I don’t consider to necessarily be a product of a mentally ill person. The words give voice to behavior a great many people can relate to at this time of year, in particular. We’ll see what happens! Meanwhile, hot fudge sauce is my next culinary task! Now,that can cure the blues, at least for a few minutes, no?

  4. This is probably one of the best images depicting spinning out of control — on black ice or otherwise — that I have seen. It has an almost visceral effect. It goes well with the bulletin board comment about masquerading.

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