I seem to have fallen into one of Haruki Murakami’s novels (a constant daydream)… only not at a good bit with a sexy limping polio victim. The bit about halfway through, where the main character has no idea what to do next, and so he decides to wait. Just doing the same things, day after day, waiting for something to change. This is not really a good point in the narrative arc to be stuck in.

Normally, I don’t see myself as a somewhat ineffective Japanese man, but as a Woman of Action… someone with the vigor of Scarlet O’Hara and Maria Von Trapp, who is ripping down life’s curtains and turning them into natty little outfits. A girl with a short skirt and a looooooong jacket!

But for the last couple of months, my partner in crime has been stuck in New Zealand, trying to sort out US visa issues. Add to the mix cold grey weather, a bung ankle keeping me from gaining endorphins through jogging, and a new apartment building, and the end result seems to be Murakami-level WELTSCHMERZ. OMG.

But! Even in a holding pattern, life is full of great things. A few weeks ago, I was feeling not awesome, and Take it Easy by the Eagles came on the radio, and when the lyric came on “It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford”… all of a sudden I was filled with incredible happiness at the pure awesomeness of that lyric. That lyric is all about unashamed enthusiasm for living. Right on. I’m thankful for the restorative powers of the creative arts.

That reminded me of an interview with Neko Case I read recently. She was talking about recent struggles with depression to an NPR journalist named Steve Inskeep:

“I was wondering when you felt really depressed, did you have trouble singing?” Inskeep asks.

“No, but I couldn’t really listen to music,” Case says. “And that’s one of the ways I knew something was really wrong with me. I just found lyrics just grating and so I started listening to ragtime and I found that that was really very comforting. It was like a little bubbling engine. It was like a little teapot — the old style like my grandma had. Like the percolator, which was always like the good coffee smell in the morning. Like, ‘All right, we’re getting going. Everything’s going to be great.’ So that’s kind of how it felt.”

That’s a pretty terrifying little paragraph but also quite amazing. She was holding on to what she could and keeping her eyes on the prize. What an inspiration.

Other awesome things you can do when it’s grey outside and everyone you know has left you:

Play video games.

Video games like… the amazing Limbo!! Five stars for its hilarious bleakness and wonderful puzzles!

Also floating my boat these days is the Device 6 ‘interactive fiction’ app. I think this one should be enjoyed without any lead-in… so I’m not posting a link. But if you liked The Westing Game, The Eleventh Hour, The Game (movie with Michael Douglas, not the rapper, gosh), Twin Peaks, and pretty much every weird mystery puzzle thing out there, you’ll love Device 6!

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