With the coming of winter, as the leaves enjoy the violent liveliness characteristic of something about to be temporarily extinguished, days like these—melancholy days—pay a visit or two. On this subject, I refer you to William Cullen Bryant’s great poem here. It is but one perception of this dramatic change of seasons. I include it, because in writing this post, I thought of it. It is not jolly in its observation, but the brilliance in the acute observation and in its expression cannot be ignored. Interestingly (though not uniquely), the poet and I share the same birth month and attended the same college (not during the same period, of course). Anyway, moving on.
In his words, “The melancholy days have come, the saddest of the year.” While I sometimes agree with this statement, especially during a miserably severe winter that restricts the mind and body from their activities and that inflicts one’s entire consciousness with unceasingly painful coldness. A melancholy day, however, need not be JUST sad; it can be more and maybe even useful.
On occasion, like during the day just past, I am overcome by a certain level of melancholy. I don’t want to do anything but surround myself in layers of softness (provided by comforters and pillows), eat all manner of things without censure, and listen to sad music about broken hearts, disappointed hopes, and general lowness of spirits and so on. I take a long warm shower, listen to slow, unobtrusive music, stare vacuously at myself in the mirror, dance a slow dance lamenting unspecific pains, and/ or cuddle up with a book. Yesterday, the book in question was Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. I wanted to unite myself with the troubles of heart and mind that the characters felt, especially all the darker sensibilities of Marianne. I wanted to sympathize with some of the characters' feelings and eventually (maybe) go through the emotions and feelings with them.
I can’t explain these days. General melancholy can be so poetic sometimes, even romantic, that I am provoked to indulge in it. I indulge myself until I am full. Such days are beautiful in their own right--a day to disconnect from everyone and attend to unconscious sadness, which like little children can throw tantrums when not doted on. They are days to reflect and to indulge my mind in all manner of thoughts. Yesterday, my writing complained that I haven’t paid as much attention to it lately. I apologized and made a promise to do better. Another part of me complained that I haven’t taken myself out in a while—that Indian restaurant that I have been meaning to visit, when am I going to go? Like so, a myriad of unspecific but important thoughts get their share of my mind’s time and memory. I feel their little pains, whimpers, and grumbles, and I submit myself wholly to them. Lost friends, far away friends, or forgotten friends can resurface as lively as ever to claim their share of me. And after I fully entertain all these thoughts (though not all on a conscious level), each one, fully satisfied, prances gallantly into invisibility. Then I put away my comforter, stop my dancing, turn off the music, prepare to go to sleep, and, with renewed and energized spirit, look forward to the next day. Hguhaaaa!
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