Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Melancholia

“For some nights I slept profoundly; but still every morning I felt the same lassitude, and a languor weighed upon me all day. I felt myself a changed girl. A strange melancholy was stealing over me, a melancholy that I would not have interrupted. Dim thoughts of death began to open, and an idea that I was slowly sinking took gentle, and, somehow, not unwelcome possession of me. If it was sad, the tone of mind which this induced was also sweet. Whatever it might be, my soul acquiesced in it.” 
― J. Sheridan Le FanuCarmilla

Melancholia - deep sadness or gloom; melancholy.

Looking out my window at the beautiful sunset, I felt a perverse joy in being morbid and indulging in my melancholia…and then I asked myself this question, which would be the easiest way to put an end to my life? A bullet to the head (what if I miss and am maimed for life!! Can that happen?), or hanging oneself by the neck (would the ceiling fan withstand my weight?) or drifting to death with sleeping pills? (How many should one take? Is it really as peaceful as it sounds or is there some pain involved which one couldn’t possibly avoid?)…Too many questions again and too less of answers! Before things get too morbid and serious, I would just like to point out that these are mere speculations with no grounds in reality whatsoever and the main reason for this is…I just love myself too much! I guess killing myself would have to wait; maybe I would just leave it to father time (or is it mother?). But why think about this at all? I feel we are often confronted by our mortality, and people react to it differently…I had been pondering on this for quite sometime, and somehow recently I have come across so many references on this topic (for instance, the other day I saw a graffiti which read “Things to do before I die”, and people wrote what they would like to do before the end beneath those words!) that I couldn’t really avoid talking (or ranting more likely) about it! Lets talk about the bucket list first, when did it become literally the talk of the town? How can it be less depressing to talk about things to do before one kicks the good old bucket? I mean what if I can’t do most of the things I would like to do before I die? Like looking at the northern lights or the Aurora Borealis, knowing fully well how much of a spoiled brat I am that I might not be able to survive the harsh conditions (and for the love of God I can’t camp or hike or trek or do anything outdoorsy, because I am useless I guess?), so before meandering too much I’ll come to the topic at hand, I really can’t understand how listing things I would like to do before the grand finale would make the impending doom of my death less scary and depressing? I really don’t know…also life has this funny way of throwing twists and turns in your face when you might be having different plans for it all together!

I would like to go a little off topic now, there was this one video I saw sometime ago on YouTube about “Melancholia” and it spoke about how it is healthy to be depressed and give in to sadness once in a while…Society pressurizes us to be happy all the time and to deal away with any sense of self-doubt or pity or bleakness which are, to be fair, valid parts of the human condition! The most beautiful songs or poems or stories are poignantly sad…then why when someone asks you on the road “How are you doing?” one is obliged to say “I am fine!” even though they might be feeling quite contrary to what they are saying…and while we are still ranting I must say I hate saying “I am fine” or hearing someone say, “I am fine”, I mean what does it even mean to say you are fine! On some days when I am feeling especially blue and someone asks me how am I doing, I feel like saying “I am not good, I feel so sad and overwhelmed…” but instead I end up saying something banal such as “I am doing good!” or “I am fine!”…This contradiction in people’s behaviour and expectation has puzzled me for so long, I mean on hand one is forced to be cheery all the time and then one has to think about making a bucket list which is actually quite a morbid thing to do…I mean what’s the point? I know I would die eventually but I am happy to do so?!! What the heck!!

Maybe there is no good answer to this question and people would do things as they are expected to do anyway, but it felt good nevertheless to go on a rant and vent out my  “melancholia”.

“Melancholia is, I believe, a musical problem: a dissonance, a change in rhythm. While on the outside everything happens with the vertiginous rhythm of a cataract, on the inside is the exhausted adagio of drops of water falling from time to tired time. For this reason the outside, seen from the melancholic inside, appears absurd and unreal, and constitutes ‘the farce we all must play’. But for an instant – because of a wild music, or a drug, or the sexual act carried to its climax – the very slow rhythm of the melancholic soul does not only rise to that of the outside world: it overtakes it with an ineffably blissful exorbitance, and the soul then thrills animated by delirious new energies” 
― Alejandra Pizarnik