Emerson Nailed It

January 4, 2014

We recently had a snow storm here and I was reminded of this poem...

The Snow Storm

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

"A tumultuous privacy of storm." Read that line again. "A tumultuous privacy of storm."

What a perfect way to describe a snow storm. And what a perfect way to describe how it feels to have Bipolar Disorder. A tumultuous privacy of storm. 

According to the dictionary, tumultuous means: making a loud confused noise; uproarious. 

But Emerson says the tumultuous storm is private. Isn't that what goes on in our minds when we are battling episodes of mania or even depression? The "storm" is private, yet "tumultuous." No one else can come in to help..."all friends shut out." It's our private storm.

I've read that Ralph Waldo Emerson may have suffered from Bipolar Disorder. I wonder if it occurred to him that his poem could be compared not only to a snow storm but to what it feels like to have a mental illness. Or maybe my bipolar mind has just twisted Emerson's words to apply to what's going on in my mind today.

I have a private tumultuous storm brewing.

As I watch the blanket of white "veil" my backyard, I embrace my "tumultuous privacy of storm." Days like today pass. Just like snow storms.

No comments:

Please share a comment