Pollyanna’s ruminations on the/our/your “depression”
Jo Anne Glover, MOXIE founder and star of our upcoming production Hickorydickory, takes a moment to talk about viewing our world through the MOXIE lens, as inspired by our most recent productions. Take a moment out of your day to take a breath and regain perspective.
1. the act of depressing.
2. the state of being depressed.
3. a depressed or sunken place or part; an area lower than the surrounding surface.
4. sadness; gloom; dejection.
5. Psychiatry: a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.
MOXIE’s recent production of “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek” has left me ruminating on the Great Depression. This is one of those portions of American history that I remember always sounding so sad and scary and thank God it could never happen again! And I know that we’re still a ways from breadlines and the awful reality of the 1930’s, but there is an energy of fear and depression in America right now and I feel just tastes of what the country might have been like.
So much of our identity is connected to our jobs. And, so many are out of work these days. Even more common, though, are those who still are working, but are working harder for less. That sense that we might not be able to provide for our families or ourselves is so paralyzing. And hope for a bright future begins to give way to panic and fear.
I found the above definition number 5 interesting. Who decides what is “any objective reason” for sadness? Part of what is so disheartening and frustrating right now is that most of us still grew up believing in the American values of hard work, honesty and persistence. And, while we don’t want to abandon those, it’s hard to keep faith when it feels like adhering to those values has not gotten us to the place or the world that we were promised it would.
So, what to do? Stay in bed? Shrivel up? Drink? Throw ourselves in front of a train?
I’m not really sure, but I do know that none of those options (which, I’ll confess, with the exception of the train all sound tempting) will actually get any of us where we want to be. I believe that the only way around is through. That we do have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, as hard as that might seem. But, also, we must find a way to lean on and be there for each other. I have always been a devotee to the “It Takes a Village” mentality, and it seems more important than ever now. And, I know that it’s VERY hard to initiate when you feel like you can barely keep your own head up, much less offer anyone else a boost.
In working on MOXIE’s next production, “Hickorydickory” we’re all exploring the themes of life’s limited time. It running out, how we spend our time, whether or not we would give our own away for those we love. And, truthfully, none of the characters in the play, when faced with the option, hesitate to go there. When it comes to brass tacks, we all would give up even our most precious resources to our children or our partners.
So, why can’t we give up the things that cost little or no money to our village? Energetic boosts for each other that might help us weather this storm. Some examples: smiles, helping hands, hugs, babysitting for friends, potluck dinners, emails or phone calls, cheap dates like walks in the park, at home coffee dates, truly listening to someone for 10 minutes. It may sound trite or Pollyanna-ish. Of course none of these things are going to put cash right into our bank accounts. But, it seems to me the danger right now is the loss of our spirits and energy. If we can find a way to help each other not lose that, then perhaps we can keep moving forward towards the financial recovery we’re hoping for. At the very least, it will help us to not feel so alone and abandoned.
I challenge you to begin consciously giving things that cost you nothing. Perhaps every day, find just one friend or stranger to make one small gesture towards infusing their spirit. And, also, truly receive those gestures when they are offered to you. Let’s focus on breathing rather than that panic that threatens to overtake us.
Okay – Pollyanna over and out.
OH, and please buy a ticket to “Hickorydickory.” You won’t be wasting your time or money! And, please stick around afterwards so I can give you a free hug.
“Hickorydickory” by Marisa Wegrzyn plays Nov 17 – Dec 16, 2012 tickets available at www.moxietheatre.com/hickorydickory or call 858-598-7620