Are you sad?

A few days ago, a friend said to me, “Are you ok? You look sad. Are you sad?”

I hadn’t been thinking about sadness or happiness. I assumed that, given the general emotional place of my life at the moment, I was very, very happy, in a deep-inside way. But I guess I’m just one of those people who still feel overwhelming sadness in the midst of great joy. There’s never one or the other, both are always present. My life is in a general state of gratitude and joy. Not happiness, which, to me, is transient.

There’s still a pervading sadness. I can feel it, touch it. It’s always there, will always be there. It’s not really mine as in of me, made of my thoughts, harboured in my heart. It’s just a quality of the Darkness That Is. Maybe this is why addicts are addicts. Even the middle of their joy, they still feel the pain and they want to run away to euphoria, even artificial euphoria. I don’t know. I think many artists, poets in particular, are given over to dark as much as light. They become conduits for darker things that others put away, hide in religion or mysticism, compartmentalize, refuse to talk about, pretend aren’t there. A poet, a true poet, can’t put those things away. Can’t hide. Won’t hide. Pain and sorrow and sadness becomes the texture of their life just as much as the heights of love, joy and pleasure.

I know people who think that because they’ve felt pain or sadness, they know what I’m talking about. That the dark is woven into their lives in the same way. Not so. Everyone has felt pain or sadness, but only a few dare the madness that comes with constantly looking into the dark. Are you willing to feel the sadness for the rest of your life, even in your happiest moment? Are you sure? Do you want to leave your wedding to walk into the forest and cry? Do you want to hold your first child and weep for the heartbreak inside the joy? Do you want to walk the edge where oxymorons pave the road and paradox falls from the sky? Is that the landscape of your life?

Do you want the constant need to get away from all people, while needing them immensely? Do you want the agony of never being able to reconcile the two?

Am I sad? Yes. Why do I cry? I have no idea. It doesn’t matter. The question “Why?” is so irrelevant to me in this afternoon of my life. I don’t care why. I just do. And within the tears lies the pain of the world, the salvation of my soul. But salvation from what and for what eludes me. There’s nothing rational about it. I abandoned rational life a long time ago. All that is left is the vast landscape of the mind when you refuse to put things into categories. Into compartments. The Wild Things spill over into your work day, gnashing their terrible teeth and rolling their terrible eyes. And you leave your day behind to join the Wild Rumpus.

Or maybe I’m a liar. Maybe all people who feel that “something” in their soul are all liars. All of us. Maybe we just need to give voice to our delusions. Our wild imaginings that darkness has shape and beauty too. Maybe we’ll never get it right, never understand, and are doomed to keep trying, like this “Glimpse into the Beyond.” (jca, I love this.)

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2 thoughts on “Are you sad?

  1. jca says:

    You flatter me. If it is any consolation, I feel as you feel, and I agree with all of this, maybe the last paragraph the most. Right now I am tethered equally to hope and despair (for me and the rest of us) but one must prevail and I know not which.

    Good write up. I’m glad you shared.

  2. ~lara says:

    Thanks, my friend. Yes, I often feel like such a liar, especially when someone says they see truth in what I write. Truth. Reality. The greatest experiments of all.

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