It is raining. Not the kind that pounds on the roof and slaps at the windows.
But the soft kind of rain you only become aware of when it darkens the concrete.
Have you noticed that all the photos are back?
It seems amazing that the 15,000 photos on this blog took just an hour or so to import. Yet the 55,000 comments, mere text, took days.
I finished the novel called “The Dry” last night. Tonight I’ll begin another book. TV doesn’t impress me much these days.
However I just watched an old Law & Order SVU episode that includes Ellen Burstyn in the cast. Do you remember that one?
The one where Elliott’s daughter Kathleen goes on a wild spree, and they discover that she has bipolar disorder?
Elliott needs his unconventional mother, Ellen Burstyn, to testify that mental illness runs in the family, so that he can save Kathleen from herself.
His mother refuses medication. Because she prefers to be imaginative and flamboyant.
She chased snowflakes and lived her life just the way she wanted to, she tells her son. But she knew that she paid the highest of prices for doing so.
And so Ellen Burstyn, at the behest of Elliott’s partner, Olivia, goes to talk to her granddaughter in jail. And she tells her that she’s not crazy, she’s just different. Like she is. Chasing snowflakes.
It is one of my favorite episodes and I’ve watched it many times. It is emotional and heart-wrenching.
And emblematic of how society and families slowly come to (sometimes) understand the incurable monster that is mental illness.
Bruises you can see. Bruises mean someone has bumped into a table or been the recipient of someone’s fist.
But mental illness wends its way through our society like a silent rebuke.
Kathleen’s grandmother tells her, finally, that the higher you fly, the farther you fall. And Kathleen accepts what she cannot change and decides to take medication for her mental illness.
Life is sometimes just not fair for those with illnesses one cannot see.