When I am down I frequently retreat into one of my life's passions, music; in this case, The Blues. It's weird, but listening to SRV, Janis, Clapton or any one of dozen of great bluesmen sing and play seems to help me feel better. Maybe its like sugar calming a kids with ADHD or maybe it's that hearing other's sing or play about their troubles helps lighten the load by sharing. Personally, I think that the music of the greats is cathartic and helps to draw my own pains and worries away in the wash of their guitar riffs and vocals. Whatever it is, listening to SRV's guitar work on "Texas Flood" or BB King on "The Thrill is Gone" makes me feel better, calmer...sort of like that "wisdom of contentment" thing. Pretty cool.
But the thing is, I feel better. I feel more at peace with things but whatever it is that's dragging me down is still there. I know I am going to be OK but whatever it is is still weighing on me.
My other retreat, whenever possible, is to take a ride.
There is music involved there too. Instead of the moan and wail of The Blues it is a mechanical symphony of pistons, valves and exhaust all fueled by flame. But there is more than sound, there is a whole visceral experience that, when all is right, completely immerses the senses. The wind in my face seems to blow the cobwebs and craziness of the world right out of my brain. Freeing my spirit and making me feel lighter mentally and spiritually. While The Blues makes me content with the drains of the world, riding clears them away. A good ride is like hitting the reset button on the soul; clearing away the cruft and crap that weigh us down and tries to smother us.