Left: A pair of Mallard ducks in a West Toledo park (click for larger image)
I have long been prone to spells of nonspecific gloom, and while I am hesitant to toss around DSM-IV labels, I recognize that I probably have a brain that either fails to properly process serotonin, or one that does not manufacture quite enough of this vital neurotransmitter.
I am also a person who prefers self-help over running to the doctor every time my mood takes a downward turn, and I would rather examine my diet, exercise levels, and vitamin intake when I enter a period of prolonged melancholia. Having been a bit depressed of late, I decided that I would go for a walk in the balmy late March breeze and take some pictures of the Mallard ducks that populate a nearby park.
The walk through the neighborhood was entertaining enough, and it began with watching some neighbor kids playing basketball on their driveway. The ball bounced out to the street, and I resisted the urge to drive into the basket for the easy layup against the ten-year-olds, opting to just toss it back.
I sat on the bridge in the late afternoon sun and soaked up a few rays. Cars whizzed by, filled with people who looked as tired as I felt. The ducks were a bit listless themselves, moving only when joggers fresh from their ellipticals came too close to their Anatidae spaces.
Left: A member of the Sciurus family surveys the neighborhood, or plots terror on unsuspecting Toledoans
Walking back I came across a squirrel that peered at me from atop the bricks surrounding an empty flower garden. The creature looked like a lonely sentry keeping watch from the battlements of a medieval castle, though it appeared to possess no weaponry.
In these days of terror, though, one can never be sure, and I thought that the stone structure might be ideal to hide IEDs or something.
The one-mile walk and photographic detours did not cure my blues, I must report, though I returned to my work with a heightened level of energy. Perhaps this would be an ideal evening to wallow in one of my aural anti-depressant techniques: sorrowful songs. I find that listening to morose tunes sung by depressed protagonists - like Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again (Naturally)" or Harry Nilsson's "Without You" - can be an effective way to combat the blues.