One of the things I feared most after I first got diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 1999 was medicine that made me feel numb.
Even though feelings on the extremes when left unchecked can lead, and have led, to disaster, seeming to not be able to feel anything at all is a far worse fate. I don’t wish it on anyone.
I can’t even describe to you what it (doesn’t) feels like. The only way you can know is if you know.
“Mood stabilizer,” she said. “That’s what you need. You need a good ‘mood stabilizer.'”
I didn’t always understand my doctor’s accent, but we communicated perfectly.
“A ‘mood stabilizer’?” I said. “Listen, I’m totally fine with that. Just don’t let it suck my soul. Deal?”
“I can write you a prescription, but I cannot make deals.”
Sometimes I need a bit of literal. She was always very literal.
I’ve always known that I feel differently than most people. I don’t know what that means, except to say I have always been open to being *moved* in life-altering ways by experiences, and those experiences have never had any pre-requisites for being the ones that seem to have been singled out to make me feel so deeply.
The Celtic Christians had a name for moments when the apparent separation between human beings and the Divine seemed to become more and more transparent.
They called these moments “Thin Places.”
I am on the hunt for Thin Places.
I am Scott Langdon- Thin Places Hunter!
Feeling deeply doesn’t necessarily need to lead to upheaval, as my current life experience is showing me. And, as I said, Thin Places can show up anywhere at anytime. You don’t even need to know what you’re looking for.
That’s why I often go to Sarah Connelly’s performance of “Dido’s Lament” by Henry Purcell when I sometimes feel dull.
This particular rendition is so sad it makes me want to live.
I know that must sound so weird, but it’s true.
Every single time I listen to it, I am so inextricably connected to her sorrow, and there is instantly no room for any doubt about the fact that I can still feel.
*Feeling* is how we get to what really is the crux of this life, namely, recognizing our shared being.
Have a listen for yourself. You’ll see what I mean.
The 1980s were my teenage years. That’s about all I want to say about that.
Actually, I’m totally kidding.
All in all, I had a wonderful decade during the Eighties. I was witness to so many amazing events and historical occurrences in our country and around the world.
I graduated from High School, traveled the world, and began a journey I never anticipated having, when I enrolled in Oklahoma Christian University (College, then) to finish my undergraduate degree in Vocal Music in 1989.
More than anything, though, the arts shaped me during this time in my life in a way they hadn’t before.
Popular music had a few different sounds during the Eighties, and the “David Foster sound” was one I really did, and very much still, enjoy.
In 1988, the Winter Olympic Games were held in Calgary, Canada. Since Foster is Canadian, he was asked to write some music for the games.
My wife Sarah and I took our honeymoon in Paris, back in 2017. It was one of the best weeks of my life.
One morning, I rose before Sarah awoke and went downstairs to the bar/cafe area that had just opened for breakfast. After sitting down in a seat at a table by the window, I opened my journal and began to write.
It was nothing. Just a few words I’ve long forgotten.
But as I began to write, I felt compelled to stop and take everything in for just a moment.
I was a writer, writing in Paris!
Later that day, Sarah and I found Hemingway’s Paris home. We ate lunch where he likely ate often.
I’m not going to pretend to be Ernest Hemingway’s biggest fan, but his life has always interested me. I imagine his struggles were similar to the struggles I face.
At the same time, I’m quite hopeful our two lives will not end with the same experience.
Corey Stoll’s performance in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” is just beautiful (as is Owen Wilson’s, btw).
I’ve always been interested in photography, but this past year the artform has taken on knew meaning for me.
If I had to pick out one person who was the spark for this outlet I never knew I needed, it would be Joel Meyerowitz.
Somehow, I came across this series of videos (I think I randomly played this one first) and the next thing I knew I was taking an online photography course from him.
His work speaks to me, but it is Joel, the human being, who infuses his work with the kind of joy and zest for life that inspired me to take up my camera in completely new ways and see this art differently.