Views from Annie's Cabin

miscellaneous musings on aging and living and loving

Black Dog & Biorhythms

on July 12, 2014

I have got a black dog on my back today. —–Sir Winston Churchill


BIORHYTHMS: Continuous physiological changes that recur in a series of never-ending measurable cycles within our bodies.

How do we explain the unexplainable? I’m a grown woman now and at times I still feel the tugs and pulls I remember feeling when I was sixteen, though now the tugs and pulls are from the dark side of the moon in the adult world. Sometimes I feel that all the woes of the world have fallen upon me alone—from watching a dear friend drift away to Alzheimers, to constantly beating my head against the concrete wall of bureaucracy, to watching the weeds in my garden exploding uncontrollably—sometimes I feel I just can’t handle all the cumulative problems of the day, at all. (And this is just in my own small world, not even bringing into consideration the Twenty-Four Great Circles of Hell of our larger Fallen World.)

When the Black Dog jumps on me, he weighs a ton and sits square on my back and pushes me down, down, down.

He won’t listen to reason and he won’t let me get up. I can’t wiggle out from under him—I simply cannot escape his weight which pressures my heart.

I don’t like to fight and I try to avoid arguments because if once I begin to argue, all stops—intellectual and emotional—are out and what comes from my mind and mouth and heart is unstoppable and vindictive, vituperative, devastating, unretrievable and brutally honest. And I was brought up to be NICE.  So fighting’s not a path I choose lightly. I usually try to go within myself and study the dark woman lurking in there before revealing her black side to the whole wide world.

But thankfully that’s when I remember my Biorhythms, just in the nick of time. The lightbulb goes off and, black dog still clinging to my shoulders, I lurch back to those faithful cyclical charts and summon up my biorhythmic waves for the immediate present. And, gentle reader, you wouldn’t believe what I see—-sure enough, those waves of emotional and physical and intellectual balances are usually all tangled up way down in the darkest depths of the chart. And do I rejoice! Yes, I rejoice, because there’s my explanation for the heretofore unexplainable. I realize that that old black dog simply rode in on the universal waves of energies (again), like the ebb and flow of the tides, and now it’s (usually) just a short waiting game for the tides to turn; and though I know I’m going to have to be sucked out and down and out again, still—I’ll know:  I’ll know that as the tide turns, as the biorhythmic cycle turns upward, I’ll know that soon will come the redeeming ssswwwwsssssshhhh…and like the ocean’s waves, I’ll be washed ashore…..coughed up by the surf, squinting in the brilliant sunlight yet breathing in the clean fresh air of a brand new day.

And the big black dog sitting on my back?  Well, it’ll be his turn now to be washed out to sea. And  Sir Winston and I will be free.  Free that is, ’til the next rhythmic cycle…ebbs again.






Black Dog

Honeysuckle on the breeze

magnolia blossoms big as dinner plates,

wildflowers growing tall

nodding in the sun—

and the everlasting chorus of the river

singing back-up to God’s Creation Medley.

And one lone woman

now middle aging (as Faulkner would say)

wondering again

(sigh—will I ever learn)

what Life’s all about.

Why these mercurial moods?

Why these brooding thoughts?

Where’s the dance in my eyes,

the lilting smile on my face?

The Black Dog has straddled my back again.

Go away, you old Hound Dog!

Go growl someone else’s way….

Darken someone else’s thoughts and dreams, I say!

**   **   **

So today…all aforethought plans

Gone “gang aft aglay”,

I planted sunflower seeds

behind the lavender and rosemary wall,

and painted the rusted faces of

flea-market flowers—

now proud as Indian bucks

in fresh new war paint—

(like the blood red

wildflower itself),

and afterwards

shared a pick-up lunch

with my (nice) dog

on the porch by the river,

watching my garden grow

in the changing light of the day.

And it hit me again—

(See, I’m not too old to learn!)

that happiness is not of this world,

(this lost, fallen, tawdry world)…..

But lives continually

like the river’s background chorus

in my heart all the time—

I just have to be quiet enough

and serene enough

to listen and hear.

I just have to remember

to pull deep from within

rather than shallow from without—

And Ha! I felt the Black Dog jump!

I see his tail hanging low—

I see him slinking away

from this lone contented woman…

Out on the prowl for some other hapless soul

until she too

can wake up and











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