A Terrifying Unfolding…

I am a fan of nonfiction.

Don’t misunderstand: I love literature also. Where would I be without short stories, novels, plays, and Shakespeare? Life would be a mouthful of sawdust without fine wine and rich literature; nevertheless, nonfiction grips. Nonfiction pierces. Nonfiction soaks into our very bones as we newly view yet another previously unforeseen aspect of the human condition, sometimes down to a cellular level.

Such is the examination of at least one life in A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold.  Yes, Klebold. yes, Columbine. Yes, a shooter’s mom.

There is no profit in this venture for Klebold, as she donates all post-publishing monies to mental (brain) health research and prevention.

In this analytical memoir, Sue Klebold painstakingly unfolds the image she held of her son Dylan in a dire attempt to remake him into the form matching the world’s perception of him since April 20, 1999. As she reworks the image over and again, the indelible marks of images both new and old remain. Crushingly open and honest, Klebold’s narrative attempts to answer the universal question, “How could you not know what your son was going to do?!”

As a reader, you may on occasion find yourself saying aloud to the author, “DO something! That’s a sign! Talk to him about this…” However, it behooves the reader to remember that we have the benefit of hindsight, having already confronted the horrors of the nation’s worst school shooting in our history. In this respect, Mrs.. Klebold was at a certain disadvantage, a fact that haunts us all.

As a visually impaired individual, I chose the Audible version of this memoir, but I highly recommend this same version to signed individuals as it is narrated b the author herself, adding an extra layer of humanity and reality to the experience.

I highly recommend this piece of nonfiction as a reality check for parents, teachers, and anyone who has ever been a teenager who hid anything from a parent.


Link to book’s site: http://amothersreckoning.com

Depression Regression

What a beautiful autumn we have experienced this 2009!  The leaves have delighted my eyes with their colors,  the vibrant tastes of honey crisp apples and the sweet yet smoky smell from making apple butter out over the open fire in the copper kettle… every moment teased my attention.  The weather has truly been sublime as my skin is touched by rays of autumn sun.  Seventy degrees never felt finer!

Yet I fall deeper into the abyss of depression.

It’s nothing new really.

Yet it’s different.

More ironic.

Why me?

Why now?

Now is when things should be looking up.  When things should be easier.  When things should be simpler they have been in the last ten years.  My oldest child is a freshman in college with a clear career goal and the desire to achieve it.  He has grown into a fine young man of whom I am proud.  My two daughters are both here at the high school with me, and they seem to be developing into productive citizens also.  Sure, I could use more money and more time to grease the wheels of living, but who couldn’t?

But it’s all different lately…  I am like a scratch and sniff sticker of emotion! Don’t get near me with a coin.  I weep at the slightest touch.

I fight my personal darkness at every corner, every turn, nearly every breath these days.  The twisted logic of the completely illogical stuns my resolve to stay healthy and resist the undertow of depression.  I am caught in a riptide of emotion, just as I was so many years earlier in the Pacific on my honeymoon in Hawaii.  We were young, dumb, singularly focused and foolishly complacent about the strength of the seemingly docile waters around the islands.  We had two rented body boards and each other, but we were no match for Mother Nature.  Surreptitiously she drew us away from the shore, and by the time we realized we were out of energy, the shore had slipped away from us.  Almost powerless felt we to return to it safely.
Back then it was water.  Now it is more murky and even stronger than the forces of gravity I struggled against  in 1988.

Here is today’s poem, one that I wrote nearly ten years ago…

Read it forwards.  Then it goes backwards.  Just like depression.

“Depression Regression”
By Casey A. South
Deep black sinking feeling seeping,
Pervading, filling, overflowing
Writing, talking, masking, faking,
Tonic sleep, hunger exercise
Wake, work, laugh, love.
Lifts, dissipates, evaporates
Evaporates, dissipates, lifts.
Love laugh, work wake.
Exercise hunger, sleep tonic.
Faking, masking, talking, writing
Overflowing, filling, pervading
Seeping feeling sinking black deep

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Depression Regression by Casey A. South is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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