I started the prodigal sheep project several years ago, during what was, in retrospect, a period of intense intellectual, political and emotional awakening in my life. I wanted to speak out and connect with others on issues I considered to be important and integral to who I perceived myself to be. What began as a curious diversion (anyone can start a blog) grew into a steady stream of discovery, rumination and commentary on topics political, social and spiritual - fanned in no small measure by the delight of connecting with a (small) community of readers and commenters.
This was suddenly interrupted by a prolonged descent into major clinical depression, beginning in 2006 and lasting more than two years. I've written about this from the perspective of being down in the well in a few prior posts, and probably will again in the future as I make sense of the mess (and opportunities) it created in my life. But during the ensuing rollercoaster ride and gradual climb out of the pit and back to some sense of normalcy, I largely lost any sense of purpose I had in maintaining the blog, and it fairly quickly fell by the wayside.
I have wanted to return to writing time and time again but was continually defeated by two challenges: firstly, sheer inertia - what really, after all, can be the lure of such self-reflecting diarizing, research and opinionating that might be noticed by no more than a handful of casual readers, when more prosaic and ultimately pressing concerns constantly crowd my mind and demand immediate attention - but also secondly, I had really by this point run out of steam in attempting, unsuccessfully, to identify any sort of overarching or guiding theme to organize each day's jottings. Or my life itself, for that matter...
The best I could manage, it seems, was to succumb to half-hearted acceptance - hardly strong enough to even be considered a viewpoint - that my life, while interesting and often enjoyable, really has no master plan or metanarrative and therefore that I really don't have much of interest to say that people would bother reading.
Sometimes the most mundane observation can turn us around. My therapist has quietly encouraged me to take up writing again, to focus perhaps on writing about depression itself and how I dealt with and learned from it. What I've realized lately, though, is that everyone's life is a mystery, the world is a mystery, God and the universe are a mystery, but just because there is so much mystery it doesn't mean our lives don't have meaning or that we can't be a voice for something worthwhile. Whatever we decide to do and however we decide to frame the narrative, you and I are just doing our best to find a path on the journey, whether we acknowledge it or not.
So I resume writing and look forward to seeing where it takes me.