Friday, July 11, 2008

HeadSong Friday: Song of Bernadette

I've been waiting a while for this one. For the right time. I'm a little concerned that, with my last two HeadSong posts being solidly set at least two decades before the present, this one might finally put me over the edge into the "Time/Life Classic Pop Songs" category, and you'll all be helping me move into the assisted living facility down the road.

But this past couple weeks have been hard on my soul. Some sad, scary news about a dear friend with a rare cancer; my darling husband's battle with sadness, and my own struggle with mostly hormonally induced depression. I've always been one that can shake things off and soldier on, chipper and perky as you can be at fortysix, but the last few days have left me feeling like I am rolling a boulder uphill. While listening to a running commentary about Lego Starwars.

I have always been loathe to talk too much about depression, because, well, it's just depressing. It seems so whiny and unproductive and downright Un-Lutheran. And others have done it so much better than I. In the right hands, depression can sound so romantic, don't you think? But in my hands, it just sits there, cold and clammy and hard and completely unyielding. Too heavy to throw, too solid to mold, making me too tired to do anything but think about how tired I am. But I threw it out there anyway, heavy as it was, and briefly told the world that I felt like shit, and you were all so kind. It brought tears to my eyes to read your comments. Your kindness was like shining a light on something good that I recognized, and it helped me crawl out and brush off a bit, and get on with the getting on of my life.

So to thank you, I want you to hear one of the more beautiful songs I've ever heard. Charley played this for me years ago. It's from a Jennifer Warnes/ Leonard Cohen album called Famous Blue Raincoat (with a 20 Year Anniversary reissue, it's so worth a trip to Amazon). It's a fabulous album, and her voice is amazing. So unaffected, so easy, so warm. And this song is my favorite. It's about faith in goodness, and really, couldn't we all do with a bit more of that?

Be sure to hug yourself tight for me when the song is finished. Love to all of you,
Mrs. McQ


*Lissa* said...

I like to call it the "funk". It sucks. I find myself in it a lot! I truly hope things get brighter for you.

Happy weekend! :o)

Kari said...

The blues? "The mean reds?" Damn. Fight the fight, baby, any way you have to. The corner's there waiting up the road. (Lovely song, too.) Be well.

Donna said...

1. Hug to self complete. Hope the sun is a little brighter today.

2. How have I never heard that song before?? It is beautiful! Thanks for introducing it to me.

3. Ever so sorry about the Lego Star Wars commentary. I was pulled downstairs just this morning so the boys could show me the movie clip where everyone and everything is wearing Groucho glasses, including the Millenium Falcon. You simply must add Lego Indiana Jones to the mix. It really makes the whole experience. (rolls eyes)

4. I am now off to YouTube to search for Smothers Brothers clips! (My mom and I got to see them live last year--it was an absolute blast!)


Lisa L said...

Annie. Go to and read (in the archives) what she wrote about depression. It is simply the best article on the subject of depression and treatments I have ever read. I have depression, or, 'Black Dog' as Winston Churchill so aptly named it. Dooce's read is a 'must'and will give you some incredible insight.

Robin Amos Kahn said...

Hi Annie,

I miss you all so much.
I just finished reading Dick Cavett's op-ed on the NY Times website about depression. There were over 600 comments. It's worth reading. We are not alone with this and at least the hormonal hell some of us go through does get better.

Big hugs to you, Joe-Henry and Charley.

anniemcq said...

Hugs to all of you. Big hugs.

And Lisa, I have read Dooce's take on depression, as well as her husbands. It's interesting, my husband has had depression all his life, and honestly, no matter who has it, you or someone else you love, it's really just a shitty place to be. I found sides of their take incredibly helpful.

And to Robin, I miss you too. Big, huge hugs to you. I will check out the Dick Cavett article. I adore him.

I am feeling lots better, though still tired. That part is hanging on. Could be because JH is going to bed later and getting up earlier. Dear God, why 5:00 a.m.? ;)

Lady Di said...

Thanks for posting this. I've been struggling to decide whether I want to start a second, more anonymous blog about living with depression (that I wouldn't send to my extended family - my brother, and friends & strangers, OK, but not sure I'm ready to be that intimate with cousins, in-laws, etc.) I probably won't but it's nice to be reminded one is not alone, especially when avoiding direct contact with others is one of my symptoms; nice catch-22, eh?! Anyway, thank you.

anniemcq said...

Lady Di, no, thank YOU. It does help, hugely, for me anyway, (social butterfly that I am), to know I'm not alone. And I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to share it with anyone. It's so personal, and sometimes I feel like such a failure, whether it's me dealing with my stuff, or just being around when dear husband is going through his dark place. Hugs to you, friend. You have a lot on your plate. I read your blog, and your tweets, and know how incredibly busy you are. It doesn't leave a lot of time for yourself. Take it easy.

English Garden said...

Annie, you really are a fabulous writer, I have been playing catch up on everyone's blogs, love the smily mouths, they are a little freaky though and we are in the same boat with our dear little ones, JH's K-T and kate's EB, they are mild and for that we are always grateful but it never stops giving us heartache and a wagon load of worry!!

Anonymous said...

It may not be romantic, but sad and funky depression is so much more compassion-inspiring than my depression, which exhibits in a lovely cycle of bitch-rage-bitch, followed by brooding silence. Repeat.

Which, truth be told, can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from just my usual personality.

I'm really glad you're feeling better.