{the longest night}

Hayford Mills 072
“when the night has come/and the land is dark/

and the moon is the only light you see…

“Things to do today:
1) Breathe in.
2) Breathe out.”
– Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story

A few hours ago I learned of the death of author Ned Vizzini, and I couldn’t remember the user name or password for my own blog for over an hour, which gives you some insight into my state of my mind, especially considering that my user name and passwords are at least half a variation of my own name.

I remain surprised at the profound stupidity of grief.

Blogger (at the time) Alkelda from Saints & Spinners “introduced” me to Ned Vizzini, and over the years we emailed a bit back and forth, talking about books, his, and other people’s. He was a genuinely nice person, always interested in what I had to say – which, admittedly, was usually gushy – and invariably kind to me, and kind about other writers. For my own sake, I will miss that he exists. For the sake of those readers who struggle with depression and who, like me, clutched IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY like a spot-on, pitch-perfect lifeline, I feel with us and for us, an inexpressible loss.

I am gutted. Just sick.

To Know the Dark

“To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.”

– Wendell Berry
from “To Know the Dark”, Farming: A Handbook, (Harcourt Brace, 1970)

We speak, this time of year, about joy, but those of us who are mental sometimes have to talk about the fact that you can only have sparkles of light against darkness. We celebrate the return of Sol Invictus against the backdrop of what feels like it could be endless, eternal night.

We found a reason to celebrate the longest night, the darkest time of the year. The birthday of the Invincible Sun. Christmas. Yule. We manufactured celebration, when we were in the dark, because human beings are nothing if not resourceful. We chose our celebration. Every day that we get out of bed, those who suffer from depression, in this small way, we choose to manufacture a tiny celebration again.

And again.

And again.

Until it becomes somewhat of a habit. Until the light returns.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.


It matters. We matter. We do. Despite what our brains might be saying.

When we feel we are most helpless, let us reach with both hands to help someone else.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

And, if you can, move.

4 Replies to “{the longest night}”

  1. This is so terribly sad…I’m so sorry — for him, for his family, for you, and the loss of your friend.
    Depression is a beast; it breaks my heart when the beast seems to conquer and win.
    May he rest in peace. May we all hold each other up as much as we can….

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.