The reason I’m not seeing pretty comes from a corner in the city in which an artistic installation is made up of metal poles with various sized “petals” attached so that as the wind blows-think small whooshes, the petals spin in at different directions. The poles and petals are small, medium, and large. They are lit by lights at night that show the movement and spin. They seems to spit rain on such days and even catch a few snowflakes in the winter. I thought they were a great idea. They line McGovern Avenue just before the turn to the train station. Get it? Movement? Yeah.
Then one day, I was driving my daughter to work and made the turn beside them. I had been trying to explain to her how awful I felt, and suddenly, without thinking, I said,
“It’s like those wing things. They’re art. They’re sculpture, but I’m not seeing pretty today because the Bad Critic has taken over my mind and senses and pretty much everything else.”
My daughter nodded. She understands. We both have depression and anxiety and godknowswhatother mental health tag we fall under. I had been trying to finish a long nonfiction piece about my majordepressiondisorderwithoutpsychoticfeatures, and the only title I had was a lame one: “Choose Your Own Adventure.” Not good. Not good at all. First, I didn’t choose to have a mental illness, and I am getting as much help as I can, and second, it’s not an adventure. It’s more like living in Dante’s Inferno.
So now you know the story of “I’m Not Seeing Pretty Today,” because that is what depression sees: Not Pretty. And for me not pretty is gray, gray, and gray.
Pencil artwork original by Willa Hutchison, Illustrator.