Saturday, July 02, 2005

The flashlight

Did you ever have a torch with dirty contacts or a dodgy set of wiring? You know the type that doesn't work properly. You'll switch it on and it will work. You move to shine the beam to a point of interest and the movement disturbs the continuity of electrical current from the battery to the globe and the beam flickers and dies. You shake the torch and hit it. The beam responds to the bursts of energy wrought upon it by the owner. At each crescendo of effort in the shaking and beating the torch the beam brightly flickers in the darkenss. It dazzles but only momentarily. A few gentler shakes follow and aha! You've found a position where the beam is emitted continuously from the torch through the dark - but dimly. You move the beam to different targets ever so slowly and gently to keep the circuit of the torch intact (what a ridiculous sight to an onlooker). You keep searching different targets with the beam that is left. You fool! You made a false move, or at least moved at normal pace, and the beam dies. You shake your torch and beat it and bang it violently but the more you abuse it the less often and less brightly it flickers. Is the torch good for anything? In this case it has to suffice as there is no provision to purchase another one. Can it be repaired? Much work can be done on it but so far there has been no fix for it. Perhaps one day it will spontaneously regenerate.


Blogger broke said...

This is powerful stuff, and for me seems to go to the heart of something important about the experience of depression (perhaps about the experience of being human?). It touches on the desperation of psychiatric disability in which one attempts to find some kind of 'working position', and then to maintain that position so that one is able to function. AS your piece suggests, it's a precarious place to exist in.

4:41 AM  

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