Saturday, January 03, 2015

An Tion Jate?

"The very formula, 'Naus means ship' is wrong. Naus and ship both mean a thing, they do not mean one another. Behind naus, as behind navis or naca, we want to have a picture of a dark, slender mass with sail or oars, climbing the ridges, with no officious English word intruding.” - C.S. Lewis

An tion jate?  This is a question I ask myself a lot lately.  I in Mandalorian because it makes me think about them in a different way than if I ask in English.  I ask it because it means, "Is everything okay?"  And I am not okay.  I am sick.  The anxiety and depression, the "impaired executive function" - it's all back (I'm back on medication, but these things take a month or so to really kick in).  Everything is not okay.

I ask it because, without additional context, it also means, "Was everything okay?"  And I begin to wonder if perhaps it has not been okay for a long, long time.  I am better prepared this time, more aware of when parts of my mind shut down and better able to re-route around the dark sectors or at least tread water until the lights come back on.  One of the things I have learned that helps is to sing - to roar, the kind of singing that feels like a core workout, songs that are choked full of emotion, to thunder into the void.  And I remember ... this is not the first time I have felt that way.  I have always loved to roar (as my sophomore year dormmates can attest), but it has not always been out of desperation.  But it was out of desperation in New York, when I started attending Hillsong NYC because I needed that space to roar in, a cathedral of light and smoke and sound and spirit.  It was out of desperation in the worst times in California, when the smothering blanket of depression was so thick that I couldn't sing, even when I wanted to.  It was out of desperation as far back as law school, when I first created a playlist of Disney songs that I could thunder because it was the only way I could feel something - anything at all.  

And you know what?  It wasn't out of desperation any further back than that, that I can recall.

So I ask it because it also means, "Is everything good?"  And I wonder.  Maybe this profession is not good for me.  Certainly the sector of it in which I have worked almost my entire working life is not.  I need to face up to the fact that I am sick, and this kind of job is not good for someone with my condition.  I am not certainly it is good for anyone, to be honest, but perhaps I am being overly judgmental - or overly naive, which is sometimes just as good.

And I ask because when Meshparjai is sad, truly sad, I cradle her in my arms and stroke her hair and whisper, "An jate."  And asking this question makes me remember that it will be okay.  I think, "How long have I been sick like this?" and, armed with greater experience of my illness, I suspect that the answer is a good deal longer than you thought.  But there was a time when I was not sick, and there have been times when I was at least asymptomatic.  It can be okay again.  I can be okay again.

I ask because as much as the answer is no - nayc, an nu jate - the answer is also a faithful, defiant elek.  Yes.

No, everything is not good.  My sickness is not good.  But God is good, and God is above everything, and it will be okay.

A postscript digression: One of the things I have learned helps me keep it together when the lights go dim is fencing.  This is, of course, why I have bothered to emblazon my gear with the phoenix earth; it's a way of reminding me that this is one of my anchors, not just a hobby.  When I was making my sword pillows, Thayet jokingly reminded me not to forget to include embroidering a cheesy saying on them.  So I did, and it is cheesy, but it's also quite serious.  I embroidered them: Gotal'u an kebise evaar'la, from Revelations 21:5: "I make all things new."  But thanks to Mandalorian conjugation, without specifying the subject, it also means: "He makes all things new."  And he will.

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