Wednesday, July 22, 2015

the crabs in the bucket

Back when K'os first emerged on the western Canadian music scene in the early 2000s (I imagine he was already known in eastern Canada before then), I thought little of his song 'Crabbuckit' other than 'It's got a good tune and I can dance to it' (some of you are too young to get that reference; get offa my lawn).

It's still a catchy tune, but lately I've been more and more aware of the metaphor - it seems in a bucket full of crabs you don't need a lid because any brave crustaceans that try to rise above will be pulled back down by the other crabs, or so the story goes. 

I like crabs. They are intriguing, adaptable, tasty creatures. But you wouldn't want to be in a bucket with a bunch of them. 

Ever since I returned home from Jamaica, I've been slipping around, having trouble finding my feet. I was light and glowing when I returned - the experience, the sunshine, the healthy diet, the fabulous friends, the freedom, the opportunity to make a visible difference. It all had an effect I thought would last. 

In fact, much of the growing and learning I did in Jamaica has lasted and will last, though the glow has gone. For the last two months I've been in one of the deepest depressions I've experienced in years -  it's acute and circumstantial. It's a lack of sunshine and freedom and pineapple and clarity. This too shall pass and is already lifting. 

But in the midst of that were the crabs. Those people who wanted to downplay my experience. Those whispers of 'oh shut up about Jamaica already.' Those accusations of narcissism and self-obsession and expressions of disinterest. And the crabs in my own head asking whether I have any worth back here in Canada, whether I'll ever be able to break out of the bucket again, whether any cute crab will want to join me on the outside. 

I was talking to my friend Mr. C a week or so ago and explaining to him how the slide had started, and what had accelerated it. What we were really talking about was my lack of writing since I've come home - here, there, or anywhere. When I relayed some of those whispers, at first he was indignant on my behalf. Mr. C is a great encourager of mine - he reads and responds to my writing, and he and Mrs. C kept me good company in Jamaica via Skype and Facebook. I like to tease him, and I love that he's in my corner. 

And then he interrupted me, as he is wont to do, and said, "and how DARE you listen to that bullshit?!" 

He has a point. 

Crabs are good for eating. And watching on the beach. And taking funky pictures of. They are not good for conversating with.

You can stay in the bucket if you want, but I've got more adventures to have. And if you're not interested in them, feel free not to read what I write. 
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