Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | August 18, 2009

August Heat

The August heat–it’s finally in the 90’s here in Jersey–has brought me into a funk. I’m ecstatic with the warm sunny weather, but visceral reactions and memories have brought me back to childhood in the summer, trying to find things to do, comforted knowing family was in the house–reactions of melancholy and sadness, a funk I seem to go into from time to time throughout my life. Depression? Maybe. I don’t want it diagnosed and I don’t want to sit around discussing medications like my friends. Ha! It’s ok, I’ll come out of it like I always do, but I can’t help thinking it’s a big contributor to my contemplative bent. I miss my family, and I haven’t made one of my own to fill the void. These words, like void, emptiness, isolation, disconnect, are all the words addressed by the faiths and philosophies. There is a way out, whether you believe it to be the saving grace of Jesus Christ, or the new vision and perspective of taoism and buddhism, or whatever matrix you chose to use.
The pain is palpable, like a big ball in your chest, like the lump in your throat. There is a longing, and I began exploring what it is that I’ve been longing for during those times that I do go into this funk. If I can envision that, then I can work towards making it happen. I remember vividly sitting in a class in high school looking out onto the lawn–we shared campus with Seton Hall University, and I wanted to be out on the lawn on a blanket with one of the blond, woodstock-esque coeds. At 48, I don’t think I should work towards making that one a reality, but I hope you get the general gist.
I can see mom in the kitchen prepping a summer dinner, the rooms are cooled by big window fans, the floors are the stage for games and fantasies with toy soldiers–my god how many times I used my “green beret” training to escape countless prisoner of war camps in my childhood–and life was safe, secure, fun, relaxed, and free.



  1. Hey T, yes, it’s definitely cyclical, although not always predictable. And it has brought up so many more questions than answers as to the root causes of man’s behaviors and emotions. But I own those quiet moments and they help to feed the active side of me. It’s like filling up the gas tank, I guess.

  2. I miss my parents too. They left way too young as far as I am concerned. Being the oldest of 7 doesn’t afford me any time to wish wistfully for family but I always thought it would be cool to make your own “family” of sorts with all different kinds of friends. Kind of like the Thanksgiving scene in “You’ve Got Mail”. P.S. My 5 brothers ALL wanted to be Green Berets!

    • Hey Kathleen!

      Yes, family and friends are so important. I have my brother and his family, my aunt, and friends here, and a diaspora of sorts of good friends who have scattered to the winds with family. In one sense, the freedom of not having my own family is precious. But it does get lonely at times…Do you think it was a catholic thing to want to be a green beret, or just cool?

  3. In some ways, I think it’s healthy to have periodic funks, provided they don’t become too deep. It’s the yin and yang of human life. A totality yang existence would burn out the brightest lights in a short amount of time.

    Just like we need sleep each day to counter our activities, a contemplative funk causes our minds to slow down to reflect on where we’ve been and where we may be headed next.

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