Swinging Pendulum

By Caroline West


A few years ago, I was newly separated. And, although I had asked for the separation, it was quite painful; 2013 was a tough year. Then, the winter of 2013/2014 really pulled me down into a depression. I had never really experienced a lengthy depressive state, as my pendulum swings high generally.

I asked my daughter to come back to the valley and help me. I thought at the time I was asking for practical help, but I was in bad shape; working and going home, drinking a bottle of cheap wine and passing out on the couch. I was just barely scraping by, putting alcohol before food; subsisting on toast and eggs. I was tired and scattered at work, blowing accounts, sabotaging my way out the door every day. My limbs would barely move — only to spill or break something.

My daughter came. We fought. I think she was appalled by my state of disrepair. Nonetheless, she set about helping, and watched me flounder; sometimes with comment, sometimes without.

Ultimately, my daughter rescued me from my downward spiral and was simultaneously able to put herself on an upward incline towards her own exquisite refinement.

It came time for her to leave the valley last fall, but before she left, she organized a night out with friends to sing karaoke — a small “bucket list” item of mine. It was such a fantastically magical night; a harmonic convergence of friends from the bus ride to the karaoke bar to the I-don’t-know-how-we-got-home end.


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