After the birth of a child, a new mother may experience postpartum depression -- a sense of loss that, as a male, I obviously cannot describe.
But I think that a similar sense of loss can afflict anyone who has committed to an enthusiastic, no-holds barred exercise, whether physical or mental. As a newspaper reporter, for example, I can remember feeling a sense of loss after working for weeks on a project that was then published ... and lost. Or times after sesshin, or Zen retreat, when I would walk home feeling somehow bereft or emptied out or at a loss to recapture the vivid aliveness that had somehow become a thing of the past.
Friends, enemies, anger, love ... all the fires that once burned like fury and consumed the moment ... where did they go? And how shall I get my footing when the ground upon which I stood seems to have miraculously dissolved beneath my feet.
As best I can figure, such a sense of loss and emptiness sets out almost immediately to try to find some new and compelling handhold... some new enemy, some new friend, some new anger, some new love ... somehow the empty space is not tolerable.
I leave it to others to wax wise about this postpartum world. I am just interested in what seems to be a fact ... and noticing it. When all our enemies and friends have been laid to rest, when the fires go out ... now what? Who would I be without my worries ... or affections either, for that matter? Is fearing such a world useful or appropriate?
I don't know.