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Autumn Arizona Bell

We Too Are Seasons

If this is spiritual warfare, this is how we win

You’d expect this from a writer, I suppose. But this isn’t my predisposition. I don’t have a “history.” You know that. It’s just that the past snuck up on me and the surprise apocalypse solidified things. I’ve had my ups and downs, sure, I’ve got a flair for the dramatic, absolutely (nods to my exes), but I get out of bed every morning, I’m zealous about creating my best life, I was born from an optimistic rib. That’s who I am, you know?

How does this happen, then? It happened for sure: The buoy became the anchor.

Stuck there at the bottom of the sea in what felt like one singular moment but couldn’t have been anything other than a lifetime coming, compounding. I thought the quickness of the onset was shocking, but how about the resistance of the outset? The darkness sticks to me like honey on an overturned spoon. And isn’t it, too, that messy? That sweet?

Run away so many times and one day the monster will be right there facing you when you turn around. Turn your back to sadness, fear, anger, and rage your whole life instead of confronting it head-on and it’ll one day encircle you entirely. Get to know your demons is not fluff advice, I’m learning.

There’s only so long you can black out the black.

Everything’s white.

Not an institution but my house these days might as well be. White house, white walls, white décor—locked down. Staring at it all with a naturally white-washed mind, thinking: When did I become so utterly, tragically, unmoved? Was it when they decreed we could not, in fact, move (#staysafe)? Or has it long been creeping in, inch by inch, as hardened hearts generally do (#alsostaysafe)?

Not sure, but one way or another the sad, hard, unmoving has got me now. I do this soul paralysis for ages. Eventually, I resolve to make small, actionable goals:

1. Take off these sweats and shower.
2. After shower, put anything on but these sweats.
3. Wash these sweats.
4. Walk dog around the (small, not large) block.
5. Write something. Anything.

Five is the big one of course. It’ll be weeks before I can muster up the strength to open the laptop. It seems so easy a task: walk to the desk, power up the machine, open Word, invite what ever is blocked in me to flow again. Turn on the faucet with a flick of the wrist—voila! But there are shackles on every one of my body parts, wrists and fingers and heart especially, so I have to imagine myself writing for weeks before I ever do. A once highly functioning professional, it’s now the very best I can do: sit here, deadened in the dark, and do my best to think optimistically about moving toward the light.

My friend Jim was a writer when he wasn’t a lawyer; a poet when he wasn’t trying to live up to familial expectations. He mastered the highs and lows that come with a double life—he was funny. I hadn’t talked to him in a decade and in that time, reportedly, the highs got higher, the lows got lower, and he, I would bet, got funnier.

But one Tuesday, Jim wasn’t laughing at all. Darkness did what darkness does best: swallowed all the light. Jim’s life ended, on his own accord. Everyone was shocked because everyone thought Jim was so happy. He was so charming. So funny, Jim.

But it didn’t shock me.
A double life is a gun to the head.

“Houston, you have a problem,” Jim once said to me in a night of drunken bonding, “you’re my kindred fucking spirit.” And then he laughed thunder and made sure I roared with him all night.

At the grocery story in the check out line, over my shoulder I hear someone say, in a thick, tough German accent, “In order to be a comedian, you haff to have a sad heart.”

I look back and the lady must be 80 years old. Her head is tossed up to the big-box lights, laughing wild at what she’s said. And she’s said it out of nowhere, to no one, to my back, to the blind side of me. Snuck up on me with her PSA: If you’re really funny, you have a really sad heart. It’s a requirement.

I think of Jim, and I think of me.

I think of Jim Carey’s Twitter eulogy for Phillip Seymore Hoffman:
“For the most sensitive among us the noise can be too much.”

I think of the whole world now (how fantastic have the memes become?!).

Depression isn’t an event—that’s grief. Depression is an amalgam—a complex story unconsciously braided into your consciousness for years, however subtly, until it suddenly comes to light and you come just as sudden to dark.

The lows got lower this year.

A once highly functioning professional, you look in the mirror one day and can’t find the zest in your eyes. Where did it go? What do you do? Is this when you’re supposed to become a Republican? To swap poetry for pragmatism? To concede?

We told you so.

Let’s be clear about one thing: Poets, artists, saints, strivers of love and light have tendencies toward depression, not sociopaths.

Writers, in particular, are a staggering 121 percent more likely to suffer from quote-unquote “mental illness,” and nearly 50 percent more likely to commit suicide than the general population. And that was pre-pandemic/ww3/end times. That same study goes on to conclude that creativity is an opening of the mind, allowing more stimuli to enter with less of a filtration system, resulting in more, gasp, feeling.

If creativity is a byproduct of spiritual connection, which it is, and feeling more is a byproduct of fostering creativity, which it is, and sensitivity is often considered a quote-unquote “mental illness” by an increasingly hard-hearted society, which it is, what can we do?

What can we, with empathic, highly sensitive, emotionally throbbing hearts, do? What in the world—in this world—can we do?

Pill is a four-letter word.

People have mentioned their opinions to me, claiming it will help me through this time. But where has Generation Rx gotten us? I ask myself, what would have happened if Mozart gobbled Prozac? Van Gogh, Zoloft? Even Charles Dickens was depressed. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Some winters are longer than others, but every year things manage to grow. Spring is a fact.

Times New Roman black on Word document white is a rope across time. I grasp for it. I trust. I write my way out of this. What else can you do in a dark storm of this nature? From the bottom of the sea you reach toward the light. Toward the buoy you once were. Toward the Creator.

Writing is a lifeboat.

Writing is a lighthouse.

Writing is not a gun to the head.

Morning always comes no matter how black the night. Look at the beehive and the way sunflowers chase the sun and then tell me we are random. Rocks crystalize and flowers bud and all caterpillars will one day fly, but we are arbitrary? No.

We too are seasons.

Bloom where you are planted, they say.

As if we have a choice now. Little by little they say we can move but we know the open door of the cage just leads to another. We know we are in the “love bomb” stage of persecution. We know that when they tell us we are (nearly!) free again as all eyes shift to War, that they are simply busy planning the next terrible thing. We know what we know now. (Our wits have strengthened, at least.) Do we know what the next terrible thing is, exactly? No. But we know it has nothing to do with seasons.

In order to win, they must make nature unnatural and the unnatural common nature. They must blot out God to make room for their artificial light And in their vendetta is our answer. What is the question?

What in the world can we do?
What in this world?

We do nature and love and light.
We do seasons.
We do God.

This is how we win.

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Arizona Bell

Arizona BellArizona Bell is the co-founder and editorial director of Wildtimes Media. Her book “Soul Magic: Ancient wisdom for modern mystics” is available everywhere books are sold. Arizona came out the shoot a free thinker, and intends to go to the grave the same.

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