Blue Monday – 21 January 2019

The woman is melancholy, depressed. Her empty eyes stare out into space, seeing nothing. Her arms are crossed in a defensive, resigned gesture. The limited blue colour palette is suggestive of muted yet overwhelming emotions. All that is going on in her inner life has disabled her.

If you are able, spend a little time with this picture, let it into invite you into this woman’s sadness.

Femme aux Bras Croisés (1901/2) was painted by Pablo Picasso during his so-called ‘Blue period’. Following the suicide of his friend Carlo Casagemas, Picasso entered a period of depression. From 1901–1904 he painted monochromatic pictures using mostly blues. The subjects in the paintings are commonly single figures, alone, and often in poverty. The subject here is thought to be from a prison hospital.

Today (21 January 2019) is ‘Blue Monday’, described by some as the most depressing day in the British year. While many might hit a psychological low point today, in reality depression is not something entered into in a day. For sufferers depression is their ever-present reality.


My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.

Psalm 22:1-2

I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart.
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.

Psalm 38:6,8,10

Lord, it seems as if my world has collapsed, hurling me into a deep, dark pit. I come to you in complete surrender. I am desperate for you, helpless and afraid. Please lift me out of this pit and show me the way.

Mary Southerland