The Mind’s Thought and the Body’s Expression

Very captivating essway on the interconnections between mind, body and illness.

There was one symptom of my Mother’s late-years depression that I found saddest — and maybe most telling — of all.

When I was small, she loved taking rides in the car through the countryside with the windows down. She loved the beautiful views from our house in Livingston, that you could watch the sunrise and sunset almost every day of the year.

The first strange change was that she became weirdly phobic about opening windows. Suddenly that was always going to make the room too hot or too cold. Then, as she had fewer and fewer guests and began going out less and less, she began keeping the curtains closed — more and more of them, for longer and longer. Pretty soon the kitchen table was the only place you could count on for natural light. The living room was like the inside of a locked trunk. All day.

The sunlight was going to fade the carpet and the furniture. But it was clear she wanted to swim through darkness for other reasons.

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