Lots of people in Alaska get depressed during the winter. Some of us like to hold on to that feeling year round like a security blanket. My head says I’m sick even though I’m perfectly healthy. I haven’t been sleeping. I thought perhaps I was moving into the bipolar spectrum and might start getting some work done. However my bipolar friends know there’s nothing fun about a mixed (miserably manic) episode so to hell with that.
I remember when I decided to move away from New England and also when I moved away from California. I was depressed. Everything I used to care for felt meaningless. I remember looking at White Beach in Manchester thinking how grey and bland life was. Food was expendable. I’m not at that point now but it’s creeping in like kudzu. I couldn’t find a reason to do anything last night. So I forced myself to walk down to Westchester Lagoon. I brought my camera because sometimes it makes me look harder for joy, beauty and silliness. I’m on The Chester Creek trail almost everyday. I know other people get bored of it. I suppose I could make the effort to go camping or hiking in The Chugach more often but that requires people who are willing to go with me and tolerate a bit of negativity and lots of fear about bears.I guess just getting old can make one bored but I’m not really bored, I’m blind.
I usually see someone I know on the trail but not last night. I didn’t see anything I hadn’t seen before but I forced myself to come home and make a photo essay of it and the doing of that made me happier. Perhaps it just took the focus off one area of my brain and put it in another, allowing the first area to heal (not enough that I slept however enough so I could watch some old movies instead of just cursing.) Did you know the 1943 Irving Berlin film “You’re in The Army Now” with Ronald Reagan has a blackface number? It comes with a little disclaimer that minstrel shows were part of the times. Also I noticed there was a musical number by African American soldiers which could be clearly cut out of the film when it was shown in the South. Maybe they show this movie to students in history, American Studies and film classes today. I wonder what the films of the current era will say future generations about our bizarre social mores? They will probably think we exterminated all Asian people and all the old women.
Anyway here’s more of Westchester Lagoon through the lens of depression.