Writer, Poet, Social Commentator
What is so attractive about grief? What is so pleasant about Melancholy?
That bleakness of the heart accompanied by a parochial craving that seeks nothing but creative negativity, is something I have come to understand.
I do not indulge in self pity but sometimes, I want to cry; spew my insides, give room for the mucous from my nostrils to flow freely down my lips as I wipe the tears off my eyes with the back of my hand. I want to ask ‘why’ and get no answer, to wish and have no grants. I do not expect a miracle, I have no desires for anything mystical, I only want to be left alone to remember that there was a time, a person, a feeling, a place.
It is for this exact reason that I no longer dissuade people from crying, I’d rather show them that I am there for them when they are done. For I have come to realize that at no other time can the memories of a past flash through your mind in full technicolor; every detail, every thought, every event, nothing spared, than in the moment of tears, during which there is connection, release and ultimately joy. There is an uncanny peace I have experienced from sadness, particularly when it is one derived from partaking in another person’s sorrow… if it isn’t better to grief with people than to rejoice with them, then wisdom has lied to us all.
I have experienced a loss I do not wish to forget, one for which I am determined to remember always. I have developed a method of doing this and though I do not advice anyone to attempt this for I have no clue what I am doing, I do it all the same.
Thus my romance with the ‘Time Traveller’s Wife’* began and we loved each other dearly. I wondered for a long time after our secret affair began, why I was so attracted to her. Was it her life? Was it her loss? Was it her firm desire never to forget? Whatever it was though, I knew this was going to be one long relationship that would bind us together.
Every time we met, she would laugh at first, amused by everything; the Time Traveller and his antics. She would be upset by his usual human failings, his prolonged absences, his inconsistencies and I would join her through each of her emotions, an almost enigmatic replica of my nostalgia. And when it was time for him to leave, she cried, and my God she could cry, with utter abandon! She would wail and scream and curse and I would join her, our tearful chorus weighing down on my heart and lifting my spirit. Sometimes she started this Kommos* to lead in my subtle entrance, but most times, my gentle sob was already in progress in anticipation of our mutually shared ‘goat-song’*. When all was said and done, alas, we remained silent and allowed peace envelope us, a realization of a life well spent, of a love freely given. The warm joy that eventually permeated was the strength to move on and never forget who he was.
Again I ask myself why? Why her? And in my silent retrieval I realize that in many ways the Time Traveller reminded me of him and like her, I loved my Time Traveller.
Last night I had an odd feeling, with ‘Odd Thomas’*, it wasn’t a wailing orchestra but the tears were there, the grief and sadness still. Again I ask why? Why him? Why was Odd Thomas’ grief so attractive? At the time of starting this post I had no clue, but as I drag to its tail end, I have a faint idea why and though I cannot say how long this will last, I am at peace.
“I’m crying everyone’s tears, and there inside our private war,
I died the night before and all of these remnants of joy and disaster,
what am I supposed to do?
I want to cook you a soup that warms your soul,
but nothing would change, nothing would change at all.
It’s just a day that brings it all about,
its just another day and nothing’s any good
I feel like I am the King of Sorrow, yeah, The King of Sorrow”
– Sade ‘King of Sorrow’
* The Time Traveller’s Wife (2009) – a movie
*Kommos is a song of lament
* Goat Song is the original name for a tragedy (play)
*Odd Thomas (2013) – a movie