Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Call Me Trahlyta

"May you always have a smile on your face and a song in your heart." ~ any body know?

Today I realized I am depressed. I looked at myself in the mirror, our eyes locked, and I said, "You're depressed."

My reaction? Tears of relief. This explains my inability to write. It also explains my recent hesitation to have interaction with other human beings.

Just naming the source of my malaise allowed me to answer the phone when it rang. And talk to my friend who declared that she and three others were coming to roust me. I assured her it wasn't necessary and that I would come to them.

It was no coincidence that the last address of my afternoon census run put me smack dab at the intersection of Highways 19 and 60. Here sits Trahlyta's grave. I had heard of it.

Last week Kimber, Funky Writer Girl, told me that when she lived in Dahlonega she put a stone on Trahlyta's grave every Sunday. It is tradition.

It turns out that I was passing this monument every time I drove to Walasi-Yi.

And back.

I saw it, but didn't 'see' it. Trahlyta's grave sits in the middle of the Y and is a classic example of something that is hidden right under your nose.

The inscription on the marker says:

This pile of stones marks the grave of a Cherokee princess, Trahlyta. According to legend her tribe, living on Cedar Mountain north of here, knew the secret of the magic springs of eternal youth from the Witch of Cedar Mountain.

Trahlyta, kidnapped by a rejected suitor, Wahsega, was taken far away and lost her beauty. As she was dying, Wahsega promised to bury her here near her home and the magic springs. Custom arose among the Indians and later the Whites to drop stones, one for each passerby, on her grave for good fortune.

The magic springs, now known as Porter Springs, lie 3/4 miles northeast of here.

I left two stones. One for Kimber and one for me.

And Kimber, you're right. I felt different when I left.

This, my friends, is the beginning of the Appalachian Mountains, aka (down here) the Blue Ridge Mountains. See those blue ridges?

The resident German Shepherd was being protective of his territory, so I took this picture through my windshield from the top of Porter Springs Drive.


What do Trahlyta's grave and the Blue Ridge Mountains have to do with me being depressed and unable to write?

I feel Trahlyta's suffering.

No one kidnapped me and threw me on the back of a horse. No one made me leave my home.

But as beautiful as it is here in the North Georgia Mountains, my soul cries for California. The depression is her reminder.

~ Olivia J. Herrell


A.T. Post said...

Come back. You're depressed. You're sad. You're discontent. Your inspiration has vanished. Come back. What have you got to lose on the return journey?

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Ahh Postman. Would that I could.

To lose? Nothing really. But you bring up an interesting perspective.

Come back. Hmmm...

I wonder.


Jules said...

Don't you listen to that "Postman" besides he will only ring twice. (Sorry, couldn't resist) It's not depression it is clear air. Hang in there MS Rebel ;)
Glad I finally got to read this.
Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Anonymous said...

Trahlyta's story is lovely. I've not heard of it before till now.

Depression is a terrible thing. Try and keep your chin up, and keeps your friends close. They always help!

Kimber said...

Hi Olivia, I am so sorry that you are feeling down right now. I am so touched that you placed a stone on Trahlyta's grave for me. It really is a magical place, isn't it? It has such a spiritual feel to it.

I've been fighting the urge to be a "Debbie Downer" lately. I lost my mom two months ago and there are days when it's a real struggle just to get out of bed in the morning. My thoughts are with you and I hope you feel better soon.

I didn't realize that you were from Cali - I was born in L.A. county hospital and spent the first ten year of my life in the Compton/Bell Flower Area. I've been gone for years now and I still miss U-No bars and pastrami sandwiches from the Purple Onion. :)

Walter Knight said...

I hear that also hidden in plain sight near you is Dahlonega Gold. Can you post a secret map to the Mother Load?

Next time I'm in the area I'm bringing my gold pan.

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Jules, I'm so sorry about the posting screwup. But it was really awful! :0 Thank you so much for coming back.

JC, thanks for stopping over. I will do that.

Kimber, oh wow. I am so terribly sorry. You can be Debbie Downer. As long as you need to be. Pasting the smile on is so exhausting. You just lost your mother. It's okay to hurt. It's natural and it's normal. So just do it.

I'm really extra glad I dropped the stone for you. Every time I go up there I will do the same thing. Hopefully it will help in some tiny way.

Another California girl in Georgia. How about that.

Walter, you're right. They are hiding gold here in Dahlonega. There are at least two mines in town that'll let you pay and pan, let me know when you're coming and we'll all go! In the meantime, I'll get to work on finding that map.

Thanks for stopping by y'all!


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Depression is a black dog that gnaws on our soul -- silently like the dreaded Grim of myth.

Abraham Lincoln, long before there were medications to fight depression, struggled with it all his life.

If you know history, you know some of his burdens that depression made even darker. He is said to have stated, "Most folks are as happy as they set out to be."

Perhaps he was stating that if you look long enough into the abyss, it will stare back. If you look at beauty, some of it will soak into you.

Dr. David Burns wrote of lies we tell ourselves that make our emotions worse. Cognitive therapy it is called. His book, FEELING GOOD, is available on Amazon : a used copy going for about $2.50

You might try it. I used to give it away to my customers who battled depression. I'm in your corner, rooting for you, Roland

Unknown said...

Bringing you a little happiness from California (I hope). I'm glad that just identifying your malady boosted your spirits.

The Words Crafter said...

Hey Olivia, I'm sorry you're in a dark place. My mom was severely chronically depressed and I wonder if it's a genetic thing. I battle it all the time and very few people understand it. Lately, it's been worse-I think because of the crazy busyness and my lack of time management skills (ADHD). You're going to be in the front of my thoughts, prayers, and wishes.

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