Just before Christmas he returned to church, entertaining the hope that the community of faith, especially one welcoming to all, might help fill the emptiness he carried inside. It almost worked, for a few weeks.

Copyright JM Schreiber, 2014
Copyright JM Schreiber, 2014

After this Sunday’s service he retreated down the stone steps into the shadow of a void that no sermon could fill. It is not the church. It is him. He had hoped that faith might come back, comfort him as once it had when… well I can’t really remember when it last provided respite… but there was a time. He worried now that believing was beyond him. To be denied like other comforts. Perhaps one can only fall away from faith so many times before it is impossible to return.

You can only be lifted if you will yourself to let go, you can only be held if you allow yourself to be touched, you can only be loved if you dare to love first. But once you believe you have rendered yourself unlovable, the stalemate is long and sad and lonely.

I suppose I could say he is depressed and that this will pass. I could also admit that he is me and that there is something more fundamental at work.

Author: roughghosts

Literary blog of Joseph Schreiber. Writer. Reader. Editor. Photographer.

16 thoughts on “Melancholia”

    1. I definitely have a morose case of the bipolar blues. The tragic, the empty and the hollow. Compared to how agitated I have been all these months, I hope this is rounding out at last.


      1. I find myself napping to avoid dwelling on how bad I feel about my life. I think I have a lot of sleep to catch up on. But it is amazing how you can go out and do things and still never connect and come home lonelier than ever.


      2. Not sure it is anhedonia. I am still reading, writing and listening to music – all the best sad stuff. I am just reveling in the really morose and dark corners of my miserable life. Depression I think but it feels like Truth, you know?


      3. Yeah I do and that’s the thing about depression – it does feel like truth. Of course it isn’t, or at least not the whole truth, but it’s hard to see that when you’re sitting on your ass at the bottom of a well.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I appreciate the sentiment but I fear faith is not within my grasp any more. I have an extensive on and off relationship with belief but at this point I simply feel deeply ambivalent.


      1. Oh you won’t make me mad, I do understand your belief and do not question it. I envy your conviction. I have known faith, worked in churches and have drifted in and out of belief. The church I attend would welcome me no matter where I am at. The problem is mine and it only serves to increase my alienation. The context of my circumstances is much deeper than anything I chose to share on this blog and it has shaped the way that I exist in the world.
        Depression is not helping either.


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