the now that is....


Well, what's really the difference between blogging and this? I guess it's that this will pretty much stay as it is, once I've got it down. And who will read this? I don't know. But that is something over which I have no control.  So welcome and thanks for reading.

Although I'm starting out with something that is more of a "past" kinda thing, it is germane to my immediately present life.


My father, Earl Gabriel Tegzes,  was a aesthete.  Not a “sharp dresser -” although he could look quite dapper in a suit - he was someone with an innate sense of style and design. I think this is where I got my own sense of same. He was an engineer by trade, an aesthete and sage by avocation. I am not alone in this assessment of him. When the subject comes up around the table with cousins, etc., all agree that he had an uncanny ease commanding authority. He garnered respect. When disciplining me or my cousins who may have been staying over for the day or night, his style of discipline completely eschewed the impulse of the one being disciplined to scoff at the one doling out the admonishment. And even more remarkable, we as young children, were quite aware of it, long before we could articulate it. He treated us with respect, consistently. He knew the difference between superiority and authority.  And he was warm too, with an embrace that encompassed everything that was good in this or any other life. So when I was in his arms, I was invincibly, unconditionally worthy of my place in the totality of creation. When he died in 1993, I gradually, but totally and devastatingly lost all sense of that worthiness. Quite a shock really to someone who up to that point was leading a sufficiently successful life. Sooner or later, we all have “our troubled stuff” and mine settled itself around me real good. It was getting nice and comfortable, because it was going to stay a while...

...Just about ten damned years, to be exact!! It took about nine months, from the time my dad died, for it to really take hold of me. And the way it made its initial presence known was by completely screwing up my singing voice. My jaw felt like it was wired from the inside. Likewise, it seemed that some phantom hand was clenched - white knuckled - around my larynx.  Since my symptoms included shortness of breath, I couldn't take deep breaths all that often. Eventually I completely lost my foundation for singing. A lot of things happened during those ten damned years that further messed up my singing. They fed the depression, the depression worsened, I saw myself evermore the victim, redoubled my efforts to find someone who would give me "the answer" (or fix me), couldn't find that someone, became increasingly confused and defeated, the depression worsened...  You get the idea, the whole vicious cycle, the downward spiral - just circling the toilet bowl of existence, but never flushing out to the big water... 

I attempted to deal with it by myself, approaching it philosophically as well as spiritually, trying to learn the lessons I knew were being "offered." I could always get up and out of bed. I could always do whatever was expected of me. This is why I think no one, including myself, really perceived how serious it all was. But it was. The sure fire sign of that was my singing. Whereas singing had always been the most natural of processes to me, it became more and more forced, more and more alien. It seemed as if I had a kind of vocal amnesia. I just couldn't remember how it felt to sing (this is after singing nearly all my life). Sometimes I  felt like I would literally choke on my own voice. At those times, I would desperately wish not even to speak. Most of the time all I seemed to have were my fears, failures, and crippling shame, which I wrapped around me like a great cloak, dragging and heavy; and by which I began to define myself.

Again - the picture - you're getting it, I'm sure.

Death is an inevitability. Why did my dad's death send me into such a tailspin? Well, there are all sorts of reasons actually (which I now realize), not the least of which is that I have always been on the over-sensitive side.  However, the why's are not so important for this discourse. What is important is that I am depressed no longer; and my voice is working at nearly full capacity.

But I allowed a HUGE, HONKIN' chunk of my life to be consumed by depression. Of course, I forgive myself, because after all, I was depressed!!

I just want to say right here, right now - that if anyone is reading this who feels an essential part of them is missing - or they are somehow cut off from that part, please HELP YOURSELF. Seeking therapy first, and then possibly meds, is a way to help yourself. It is not WEAKNESS - not an admission of defeat. It is proactive and STRONG and BRAVE. It is you telling yourself and the universe that you are more than a sack of scat.  Try not to wait for someone else to speak for you. I did that and I would still be waiting if I hadn't finally made my own move on my own behalf.

There was always something - some force or energy - spurring me on to break free of the depression. Many days I yearned to just disappear. Oh my my, I can still feel that keening in my gut. Why couldn't I simply lie down and dissolve into the air? However, for some reason, I ultimately couldn't give up. And for that I am more grateful than I can say.

We all are creatures of habit, oft times much to our detriment.  Rather than rouse ourselves and seek alternatives, we'd sooner sit in our own misery, repeating unproductive and negative behaviors, because they are familiar. Familiarity can be OVERRATED.  I still catch myself doing this. I know I always will. It's part of being human - one of them there frailties. However, I keep on working at being truly AWAKE, truly alive. 


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