Is it a stretch to call clinical depression "An Evil Spell"?
When I had finished a draft of Letters From Rapunzel, and before I gave it to anyone else, I showed it to my sister and asked her: Is this how you feel?
"Yes," she said. "And more."
I had described The Evil Spell as:
"...being locked in a dark room, and you've forgotten your name, why you're there, where the door is..."To my words, she added:
That was several years ago, and this year, after the book was published, she helped me again. She gathered her thoughts, put them in writing, and sent me this:
"and even that there is a door."
"Once upon a time, there were two little girls who slept in a wide bed under a rose-patterned comforter. Before they fell asleep, the younger (not by much) of the two would describe for her sister the spectral objects appearing before her eyes: 'Look...a wedding ring!...there's a piano!...now I see a mushroom...' The older sister strained to see what her sibling was identifying, calling out by name in the darkness. Sometimes, she could almost believe she saw those filaments of her sister's imagination, but mostly she enjoyed hearing her voice exclaiming, 'Look! There goes a...'
Reading Letters From Rapunzel, I heard my sister's voice again, saw her imagination forming images into words on a page. Piecing together letters, lists, fortunes, essays, free-writing, and fairy tales into a telling collage. Believing that if she can only name what she sees in the deep space of her imagination, others will glimpse the fairy trails also. Hoping that they will be as delighted and comforted as I was.
Thanks, Sara, for keeping me company in the dark and for having the courage to break the Spell of Silence."
Ah, Sister Bear. You showed how me how.
National Depression Screening Day is next week: October 11, 2007. You don't have to be alone in the dark.