To: Annie Dillard Re: Total Eclipse

Hi Annie,

There was a total eclipse of the sun, a hotel room with that clown, people drove through the darkness to get work even though they should have been scared to death, your husband looked like an old photo, and a shadow ran over the earth at 1800 miles an hour. Yeah.

“It looked like a Lifesaver.” That’s what that kid said at the restaurant, where everybody was getting back to normal.

Why are you so weary Annie Dillard? Are you depressed? I’ve been depressed and now I take Wellbutrin and I’m not so depressed. Or maybe I am. When I’m out in the Green Belt with the dog, and all the trees are dressed in green and he’s running through the blackberries, trying to find a way to get through to me, maybe I am.

You see, Annie, depression that is that tightly controlled is just drama when you get down to it. Sure there’s those chemicals that are working or not working, or there’s not enough of them. But like in a play, someone, perhaps yourself, has decided that that feeling is so important that it has got to be put front and center and have a klieg light shone on it.

What if the apocalyptic visions that seem so vital and pressing to you are just so much bullshit? Are you so wrapped up in them that they are running your life? I get it that you’ve made a good living from writing about them, but is that really worth living inside that head stuffed with them? I sure wouldn’t do it for love or money.

I know you’re not interested in any suggestions to get out of that weary but transcendent mental state you put on paper so well. So be it. There’s a place where there’s an emotion called equanimity. I know, I know, equanimity is not an emotion. It is actually a better emotion than all the others. I digress. Learn mindfulness meditation.

So there was a total eclipse of the sun, a hotel room with that clown , people drove through the darkness to get work even though they should have been scared to death , your husband looked like an old photo, and a shadow ran over the earth at 1800 miles an hour. It is all impermanent and can be apprehended with equanimity. Give it a shot eh?

Best

Kevin Marshall

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