This is not an informative blog regarding the hagfish. It is, instead, an autobiographical work by me, Ann Murray. I am not a fish. Sorry. This in one form or other, is the story of my mishaps, and also, some of my haps. Fair and Balanced and all that.



Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thursday, October 20, 2005


In the best of situations, we do not belong to each other. There is no tinge of ownership, of thralldom. Each is separate and apart. This is essential to clear thinking and rational relationships. It is also Utopian, and not easily achieved.

Convention has caused so many mismatches in marriage. They are the answer to an overabundance of heat in the loins. They are the avoidance tactic of the tribe that has no wish to raise children resulting from too much heat. Ergo, promote the family unit as desirable, and at times inevitable, lest scandal ensue. It is financially sound.

Humanity reproduces itself and an endless supply of mismatches.

Occasionally though, like a streak of light passing through the early leaves of spring…a minor miracle of life occurs. A good match comes to pass.

But because life tends not to be kind, things happen, pieces that do fit very well get broken. Important words fall into dark cracks and are muffled by disapproval, covered by small stones, and twigs dropped by birds. Lovers dissolve, and invisibility is the fate of the glowing vision of forevermore.

So, this had come to pass, it seemed, in her life.

Time moved like a balloon filled with water, incapable of speed. The cheap clock on the wall ticked away seconds.





She played Solitaire.

Have you any idea how long a game of Solitaire can last? Oh, you think you do. A few minutes, you say. There is a game that involves four suits of cards laid out in ten rows. Lunatics and widows play this game. And what a strangely non-apropos term. Play. It is not play, it is the second-to-second quest for oblivion, and were it possible, it should measure itself out in moments which are uncountable, therefore making it last forever.

When involved deeply in moments of Solitaire, it is almost impossible to think of anything else but the Red Queen seeking the Red King from so great a distance… resolution is very difficult. A difficult pastime dedicated to smoothing out hours. The removal of jagged hours being the ultimate goal. Many hours become days, although some get lost in the shuffle and are never found again.

The jagged hours come though. No matter how many Red Queens find a Red King, no matter how many black nines find their black ten, the one that fits perfectly…the jagged hour of that day will come.

This is the time of the rusted knife, the scimitar gone too dull to perform, that succeeds only in letting one know they will live in a mangled half state. No clean surgical assassination. It is full of blood and howling. It is performed in the secret places of the heart. It is life extended to massive proportions, to be plodded through one thick step at a time, via the process of thought.

The question that is not asked for fear of the answer rings like a bell.

What an incongruous sound.

The loss of a good match leaves one halved like an apple cut cleanly down the center, the perfect symmetry of seeds on either side of the core, beautiful, but irreparably altered, and soon corrupted by the inevitable oxidation that spells ruin.

Solitaire n. 1. a game played by one person alone, as a game with marbles or pegs on a board having hollows or holes, or any various card games. 2. a precious stone, esp a diamond, set by itself, as in a ring. [L. solitarius - alone]

My Captain

Oh my Captain, you went so quietly,
I never heard the sound of your
step as you crossed the threshold
to that door I left hanging open
in my idealist's distraction.

There's a mist of sadness
that clings to me like the fog
I got lost in that year, when
the world became a
precarious pile of teetering
bricks that I tried to catch
when they fell without

I miss you my Captain.

My Captain, my shipmate
of the long life sea we
cross over in our fragile
boats---separate, and
saying little in the
long run,
after saying so much.

Captain, I thought I
could change things,
I thought I could matter
somehow on this troubled
Earth. I thought some
word I spoke would
turn a tide, save a life,
make the lunacy stop.

It was futile Captain,
and I lost you in the trying,
and I fall silent now
beneath the swollen
waters of too long
a time wasted.

A. Murray
For Alan Bok
September 21, 2002

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Flower in Winter

Flower - Brooklyn Botanical Garden - New York
Taken in a greenhouse during a very long cold winter.
Outside, there was deep snow.
Click image to enlarge.

The Mystery Solved

More or less…

I owe more than a passing explanation to those who cared enough to keep checking in, so here goes:

This is more blog-like than my usual posts, and it’s a thing I tend to avoid. At this time though, it seems appropriate, as I am still not really up to writing personal letters. Please bear with me here.

Most specifically to Ara, Don, Rich, and Rivi (Listed alphabetically.)

Directly after the earthquake/tsunami, I fell into a deep, almost fog-like depression. I believe it was also in a good part due to my reaction to the election results here in this country.

I have long held the belief that it is far better for me to cope with my depression without resorting to medications. This is for myself only. I do not think that all depressed people should follow that dictum. I realize that in many cases psychiatric/medical help saves sanity, and perhaps life itself.

In my case, I have viewed my depression as a time of rest and introspection, since withdrawal is the rather extreme symptom for me, and was the strongest symptom of the recently past bout.

Depression is a demon. I understand that. It is not poetic, or romantic. It is a good idea to avoid it when possible, but there are times, for me, when the overload on my mental circuits becomes so great, I have no clear way out but to remove myself from the cause(s), through the means of slipping into the mental void of depression. I don’t elect depression consciously. My subconscious does that. The causes themselves do not go away e.g. the tsunami victims are still suffering horribly although they now lack the glamour to attract the news media here in America, and the election results…oh well….

In order to flee the causes, I shut my life down. I stopped listening to newscasts, and I also stopped reading news on the web. I stopped reading any blogs because there was always the danger of too much reality hurling me deeper into my private abyss.

During this stage of my mental obliteration, I suffered from a physical condition that made it very difficult for me to sit for any length of time at the computer, or anywhere else for that matter. There was a lot of swelling and pain in my legs, and wisdom dictated that I stop all harmful activities, such as prolonged, almost obsessive computer devotion. (Computer devotion is a chronic disease.)

In defense of my body and soul, I left the world of the computer. It was only turned on briefly every couple of weeks, and the web barely accessed at all. This explains such deep silence on my part. I didn’t have a pen to write with.

In early May (the 2nd to be exact) I had an accident here in my home. I fell and hurt myself very severely. I injured my left knee so badly, I was unable to even think about walking, or sitting, or doing anything other than sleeping when I could. The pain involved was beyond description.

I injured my upper body also, and as a result of this, there were other very unpleasant physical situations that developed like dominoes falling, involving my shoulders and arms/wrists/hands that made typing unbearably painful.

I did not tell anyone of this, with the exception of Rich, who is a deeply personal friend, and who had a good working knowledge of my situation since I tend to complain to him about nearly everything. He is to be lauded for his infinite patience with my vapors. My notes to him were extremely brief because I could do no more than that.

It seemed ridiculous to burden others with this information. They could do nothing to help me. I was off the web. And please understand that depression distorts the process of thought to an astonishing degree. We believe we are irrelevant a lot of the time; that we could disappear without leaving a single ring on the surface of the water we sink into. There is a major obliteration of basic ego.

I am tired now. I want to state that I am recovering at last though, so that you will stop being injured by my silence, so that you will feel better knowing that all this was deeply personal, and that I was alone in it, as I needed to be.

I know I was very rude by being so silent, but when you’re crazy, you really don’t see anything too clearly, and depression is a form of madness for me.

I do not ask for forgiveness. That is a matter of personal choice for you. If I ever told you I loved you, I did, and I do today also.

More when I feel a little better. My arms are beginning to hurt now. I don’t want to start the problem(s) up again.