Moving On (feat. Poet Jen Harris)

from Among Friends by The Sextet

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The process of experiencing, acknowledging, and overcoming depression


There is a particular fragrance to newborn depression
a scent on the wind that sparks the hint of a memory you dread but cannot place
It’s ..... disorienting
like being haunted, being hunted, being hated
by everyone, even when everyone is telling you they love you
you are completely alone
every moment you don’t want to be, and every moment you are you are praying for a phone call you can’t answer
lost, your voice, lost, in the abyss, losing time, lost in something you don’t want to claim but can’t ignore.
Sometimes you catch a glimmer of happiness and try to live in that millisecond for the rest of your life
just to feel the slightest warmth again
but the deep freeze of this hostile takeover overwhelms the mirage of your memory and you recall the vanity of being so unsatisfied in the everyday occurrences.
Seems, now, like everyone else is always smiling
laughing at jokes
but you can’t feel the anticipatory thrill of a punch line
only punches that knock the wind out of you in random places like breakfast or birthday parties.
You’re subjected to wondering if you’ve shared years with many people who never really loved you
the chorus of their absence fills the cathedral of your broken state like a tsunami.
An unpredictable blindsiding
a rapid disintegration
into a state of being where the avalanche slows
but never stops
A period where you can’t fake it no matter how much you want to.
An occasion where you can’t bench-press the weight of anxiety.
Your confidence suffering, sustaining significant damage, the cruel unpacking in which Misery makes a home in you.
Recovering, feels impossible. Like, forgiveness. Like, forgetting. Like, living.

There are many ways in and out of this darkness.
The choice of an exit is yours.
You, who is weary from struggling to survive
had the sense to wait for the strongest second wind to set sail for healing shores.
Throw yourself into escaping.
You can make it out alive.

You have done your best and it was not always enough
but you do not deserve to suffer.
You were trapped on a landscape of pain
but you have broken loose.
and know now, as you run toward freedom...
That when you throw your defenses to the wind,
be sure they’re not being blown directly into the hands of your enemies.
Trust should never be hard to earn,
but nearly impossible to regain.
You fill the cavernous impact of your perilous journey with
tea leaves, and therapy sessions, long phone calls, glittering surprises and eyelashes dripping with laughter tears.
You watch the disaster relief team find you on the border of catastrophe and carry you to safety because you had just enough strength left to raise a white flag and light a flare.
All attempts to revisit the past for more than a brief lingering are futile.
You will not be able to revive what once was.
And anyone who dares say “I told you so” in reflection of your wreckage does not understand the wild abandon of actually believing,
Life can be better, even when it is impossibly the worst.

Not all of us were meant to be cowboys, I suppose.
It takes a brave soul to ride without spurs.
But you did,
and you’ll do it again, if you have to.
For the guts, for the glory, for those many days when nothing has ever been so perfect.
You’ve come full circle and must choose the road not taken.
All familiar paths are washed out and besides, the treachery is too familiar to be a challenge.
It’d just be another year wasted in dedication to survival.
This is the year you take everything personally,
and demand a satisfactory answer to all those dark dilemmas that held you hostage.
Now, you heal.
Now, the pain fades and eventually this will feel like staring into the fog.
You forgive.
You forget.
You Live.


from Among Friends, released September 6, 2019
words by Poet Jen Harris
music by Robert Castillo

Robert Castillo - electric bass
Joe Tesoro - soprano sax


all rights reserved


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