Monday, March 3, 2014

Method to madness: truth in sadness

One of the most powerful emotions that can sweep over us at any point in time is sadness. Speaking sincerely, I think it’s a much more universal feeling than joy or happiness because we find so many more things in common to be sad about. Another detail is that while love helps you float and soar and you’re often left wondering exactly what love feels like, scrambling for words to do it justice, we are often ready to describe the pains of our lives exactly how they feel.

A torn wound that won’t heal

You’re ripping in two like an unwilling paper

Falling into a pit of darkness with no bottom

It’s numbness

You read these phrases and you may think of when you’ve broken up with someone, when all the effort you’ve put into something felt like it was for nothing or those times when you’ve lost someone, just to name three events.

At eight years old, I experienced my first death in the family and it was heart breaking. At 9 I experienced being “dumped” for someone else for the first time (the quotes are because at nine you have no idea what you’re in for in regards to your first real breakup). At 9 I also experienced a fall that gave me a scar I have on my right hand. In eighth grade, it was the first time I’d truly felt betrayed.

These pains and the sadness they brought still come through today when I meditate or when I wonder about powerful moments in my life to tap into a feeling while I’m writing. The sadness I lived in my past can charge the words I write that will be read in the future. It’s not the same to write something emotional than it is to get emotional and write. It’s the difference of added ingredients and something coming from the source, you can most times feel how the writer felt as they wrote.

As for this emotion, well sadness is a lot more universal because it is much more readily accessible than happiness. Often times you have to work for happiness and pursue it in countless ways. Sadness is a lot less discriminating. It’s not picky, it’s actually generous and while happiness has a tight schedule and limited visits, sadness is always ready to say hi and wrap itself over you.

Also, sadness inspires. Sadness is fuel to write. Sadness hurts, though you can get something positive out of it. It can pulse in rhythmic pain, though when you let it out, when you write with that raw emotion, you are creating something beautiful through your pain.

Listen to a Sea Change by Beck, watch the Wrestler by Darren Aronofsky or read any of a thousand books and tell me you don’t share that pain. Sadness is a common ground and when we look through the reflections of our tears, we can see we are closer to each other than we could have ever realized... and all of this because we dared to feel... and we dared to create.

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