Compassion (a poem about depression)

Depression is not very pretty. Nor is it very kind. It has many faces, and it comes and goes as it pleases. It can affect almost anyone. If you are someone who has struggled with depression, you know it never goes away completely but hides, waiting for the right moment to reappear. It isn’t something to be lightly dismissed in yourself or in others who suffer from it. Who hasn’t seen the devastating effect it can have on a vulnerable person? I’ve struggled with it, and I’ve certainly known many others who were also affected by it.

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Watching someone you love battle depression is never easy. It isn’t easily “fixed,” even in this age of modern medicine. Therapy and medicines are there, and for some people they help so much, but for others, less so. Compassion, patience, unconditional love and presence are the lifelines we can offer…to someone else and to ourselves.

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To listen to me read this poem, please click on the link below. It will take a minute to begin.

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Compassion

 

Taking on your pain was something
I tried to do, like slipping on your
jacket, pushing an arm in and then
another, pulling it tight around myself,
hoping that by feeling what you do,
it would diminish your pain.

 

No matter how hard I tried, it wasn’t a fit.
Your depression fell around me in loose
folds, the sadness sagging around my heart.
Besides, it would leave you cold, open
to the fickle winds that blew your way.

 

 

Compassion was first published in Erasing the Doubt by Mary Kendall
(Finishing Line Press © 2015)

 

 

 

Acceptance

Acceptance, photograph by Iosatel (c) 2015

“Acceptance”  Photograph by Iosatel (c) 2015

Should you wish to listen to the poem, click on the link below. It will take a few seconds to begin.

 

Acceptance 

There—on the far side of memory’s window—
You stand there on the outside looking in.

Distanced, safe from the rawness of our lives,
You are given a choice whether to judge us

Now or see if we try to make amends, to heal
The hearts that have been torn at the edges,

Frayed by the refusal to forgive, and let others
Move on, a final repentance, a simple lesson

Of learning to forgive our own mistakes, our
Choices or the decisions we came to regret.

Life is not all black and white, but endless shivers
Of grey, silver, and ebony; hues of cream, ivory

And moonlight, and beautiful colors begin to bleed
Into our fabric when we accept others as they are.

Paths get worn by walking, grass just wears away.
Road crosses road, briefly intersecting, and then

Leading to new and unexplored places where
There might be answers if we put aside our slanted

Views and look well beyond our differences.
Beneath this fragile shell of life we are the same.

Why is this simple lesson so hard to learn?

 dove and monkey

Note:  The main photograph (at the top of this page) used with this poem is a beautiful piece by the photographer, Iosatel. It appears on his photography blog, The Obvious and the Hidden, http://theobviousandhidden.com.

His black/white pictures are both beautiful and mysterious. Along with the intriguing pictures are his titles, which never fail to interest his many followers. This photo was entitled, “Acceptance.” It was this that began this poem. My warmest thanks to Iosatel for allowing me to use this photograph with my poem, ‘Acceptance.’