Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Am I crazy?


First published in April 2017


Do you know how God controls the clouds
    and makes his lightning flash?
Do you know how the clouds hang poised,
    those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?

Job 37:15-16


When joy overwhelms you and there’s no one with whom you can share it, what do you do with it? When you can’t contain your excitement – literally can’t contain it within you – what can you possibly do?

That happened to me a couple of days ago and I had to tell someone. Because if I didn’t, I feared I would burst. I called my son. I emailed a couple of friends.

These feelings arose as I had been looking out our dining room window watching clouds gather and form into an endless array shapes and sizes. As the clouds changed every couple of minutes, I photographed them. I love photographing flowers, but I’m starting to think that clouds offer more excitement. And yes – as the scripture above has said, “God controls the clouds.” There’s magic in them, majesty, wonder. They’re a thrill to watch.

If you have a bipolar condition like I do, you will probably know how a “high” or elevated mood can spin you out of control with feelings of extreme elation. It just happens – but especially when something wonderful comes along and your response involves the kind of enthusiasm I experienced. Especially when a passion to create something beautiful is part of it.

Is that crazy?

People who don’t understand might think so. My son thought so when I called him just to tell him about how the clouds excited me.

I’ve been photographing clouds for quite a while now. Every time I look out the window and see interesting things happen in the sky, I stop what I’m doing and pick up my camera to take a few pictures.

Have you ever looked up and truly studied the sky above you? You will have noticed how awesome clouds can be. If you pause long enough you will see how they change, every couple of minutes. They’re never the same. The more I’ve become a cloud watcher, the more I see God’s hands at work. Only God can produce such displays.

And I wondered once more: “Am I or others who experience such elated moods crazy?”

No. I don’t think so at all. We simply have moods that respond in strong ways to what’s happening inside us and outside us. Although bipolar is considered a disorder, it can have its advantages. To see what God has made and to appreciate it to the extent we do is a wonderful thing. Such strong feelings give many of us enough inspiration and passion to create beautiful artwork.

Now that’s not so crazy, is it? I would say it comes from God.

1 Comment

  1. Clowds are very amazing to watch. And as an artist amazing to paint. But God the best. Very few can copy them the way they appear in the sky. I find it even harder to take pictures with the camera. You take very good pictures of clowds , flowers and children. Keep it up ,it makes your heart happy. Louise

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