Sunday, March 12, 2006

"In May I Never Prosper"

Kristina Chew has been blogging of late about upheavals in Charlie's life this spring. And many in 'autismland' have been sharing about the chaos that Spring seems to bring to the lives of those on the spectrum.

I posted a long response to her blog entry today and it got me thinking about my own dread of Spring.

One of the things I said in my response was:
"Somehow the shift from winter to spring fills me with a terrible, restless anxiety and I feel like a lion in a zoo cage, pacing, pacing, pacing."

I don't understand why the return of the light triggers my depression and the loss of light in the fall does not. But there is something about the restless energy in early spring that sets my insides roiling.

In a poem called "Narcissus' Lament", I wrote this about Spring:

I dread her favor; a glimpse
of her abundance, teeming below

the threshold of my senses. Crawling
on my skin--the relentless pull
to push and thrive, to thrust

through the crust of earth
that imprisons all of us, seed, shoot,


The light
that wakes us, makes us all delirious.

Perhaps it is just too much life, too quickly after the relative peace of winter. I adore the winter; the silence of snow, the cold of clear, starry nights.

In a poem called "Consort", I wrote of the relationship between Winter and her lover, The North Wind:

They embrace
through the longest night while earth's
pulse slows beneath them. They grant
the stillness, not of death, but of life

In the winter, I know who I am. The spring is too much like chaos for me to feel comfortable with it.

The post title is my own out of context reading of the lyrics to a traditional Irish song, called "Rares Hill" sung by Mary Black. When I first heard it, years ago, it spoke to me about my dread of Spring. I recently tracked down the lyrics and it is 'may' as in 'will', and it references something completely different than my memory of the song indicates.

The real lyrics are:
"So it's may I never prosper, and may I never thrive/
In anything I take in hand as long as I'm alive/
If e'er I say I rue the day, my laddie had his will/
Success to Lady Mary's fair, and the back of Rare's Hill."