A few weeks ago I was cleaning house and found myself staring down at a slug who’d found it’s way under the kitchen sink. My first reaction was “EEEEK!” And I frantically thought about how I could kill it. I realized, when the initial panic wore off, that I didn’t want to kill it. I looked at this gentle creature and realized that it was actually quite sweet and graceful and peaceful. I decided to instead take it outside. As I scooped it up onto a piece of paper I felt a connection to this creature. I set it free outside the front door and telepathically wished it well.
A few nights ago I had a dream about a cat. I don’t own a cat (or am not owned by a cat). But in this dream I had a cat. I was in some kind of building with lots of doorways and hallways and I was standing in a doorway talking to a friend. We were discussing whether or not my cat would cross the threshold of the doorway at a certain time. My friend didn’t think my cat would and I told him that my cat would -because he always crosses the threshold at that specific time everyday without fail. And sure enough, my cat crossed the threshold at the exact time that I said he would. When he did I felt this profound sense of happiness. I scooped up the cat and snuggled him against me, feeling and hearing the soothing sound if its purr. In my dream this felt like the essence of love. (Actually, in waking life this feels like the essence of love).
The next morning I woke up and, half asleep, I walked into the kitchen and turned on the light and started tidying up a bit before my coffee. I went to get something out of the cupboard under the sink and there was another slug. When I stared at the slug I experienced the same feeling of connection that I had for the cat in my dream.
I have been thinking a lot lately about connection. I don’t know where I read it but someone recently made the point that human beings need connection. I can’t speak for other animals or other living creatures, but I agree that connection is deeply important for humans. I think this is why we become addicted to things like social media.Underneath this addiction there is a very profound need for connection.
I have been dealing with depression a lot lately. It is something that I have struggled with for most of my adult life. Lately things have been different, in a good way. When I am in the middle of a depressive state I am able to realize that I am in a depressive state. This is huge. Normally I let the depression take me down. Being able to take a step back and see it for what it is has really helped. This past week, when I had that “aha” moment, I had some insight into why these episodes are so painful and awful. When I am depressed there is something in my brain that can’t feel connected. It just isn’t there. It’s frightening and horrible. Intellectually I know that I am cared for and loved but I can’t feel it. Not being able to feel it is the absolute worst.
The thing that keeps me going when I am in this state is the knowledge that I am loved. Of course the story-line plays in my head that I’m not but underneath the story-line I know that I am loved. And my knowledge of this fact is cemented by the actions of others toward me. Even if I can’t feel it I know it is true. This is what gets me through.
And since I know that depression is a temporary state, I know that it will pass, like the clouds through the sky.
3 thoughts on “That time I connected with a slug”
One of the early things I did to impress my future ex-wife was to save a slug from the sun by picking it out of the street and putting it into some shaded bushes. It was a helpless tiny bit of life that needed a little bit of help to survive. I’ve never photographed a slug, but some day I want to take the best ever photo that’s ever been taken of a slug.
As for the recent depression, I can relate to that, and to your breakthrough about realizing when you’re in a depressive state. My depressions are often telling me I need to do something I’ve been putting off. Writing about it always helps. Feeling its effects, but not letting it make you its bitch is a great thing. You ARE connected, I am connected, we are all connected. Depression is telling us we’ve become disconnected. Sometimes that’s necessary, and we need to retreat for a bit. Sometimes we need to do something about it. Like writing. Or taking a photo that captures that disconnection. Which will quickly spark a connection if we follow through.
Excellent piece. And thanks again for saving those slugs.
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Thanks David! Always love hearing from you. 🙂 I agree, I think that putting off of things has something to do with it. Moving in the direction of connection (via writing or art) helps a lot. I think the thing I’m learning is that the feeling doesn’t have to be there to move in that direction, but the momentum helps move me out of that undesirable space.