Tag Archives: Sadness

Sad Lines (#19)

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I have been working 11 hours a day – and 3 weekends in a row. Next week I go on to emergency/ after-hours whereby I am expected to be on the floor from 10pm – 8am within the small animal hospital, or 4pm – 8am if I am on an equine shift. To say I am exhausted is an understatement. I have been fore-going sleep in order to maintain my social life as much as I am able. Last friday night some friends from church and I handed out dinner to the homeless on the streets then caught up over ice cream. And despite having to work in the morning over the weekend, I spent my afternoons reading at the beach and having wine and cheese and learning about sailing from some new friends. I am absolutely exhausted, and I probably look just as terrible. But things will be ok – I will take them as they come.

I haven’t really had time to read for leisure very much, or to write. So here are some sad lines from literature that touched my heart – even though I am not particularly sad at the moment. I think that whilst sadness shouldn’t be romanticised and placed on a pedestal, it is something that must be acknowledged and embraced. There are few emotions that we will feel as often, as deeply or as tangibly in this life, so surely learning to embrace it like an old friend would make our journey on this little blue dot just that much more meaningful.

“Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.”
– Pablo Neruda
“She vanished without a trace, swept away by the flow of time and it’s flood of people”
– Haruki Murakami
“It’s strange. I felt less lonely when I didn’t know you.”
– Jean Paul Sartre
“Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on. I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.”
– Jonathan Safran Foer
“We’re each of us alone, to be sure. What can you do but hold your hand out in the dark?”
– Ursula K. Le Guin
“Your only problem, perhaps, is that you scream without letting yourself cry.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
“I didn’t leave because I stopped loving you, I left because the longer I stayed the less I loved myself.” – Rupi Kaur
“I hid my deepest feelings so well I forgot where I placed them.” – Amy Tan

People often say that the saddest word is “almost”: the notion of things that might have been; of opportunities missed and words unsaid: of regret. But there are so many ways in which “almost” is happy: “He almost did not survive the night”, “I almost decided not to go to the party where I met you”, “I almost lost the courage to call.”

I therefore think the saddest phrase is “It should have been you”. It is heartbreaking no matter which context I put it in. Whether walking down the aisle with the wrong man, or a mother grieving the loss of the son she cared more for.

Jolyn

Front Lawn

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Front lawn

Am I your favourite mediocre pastime?
You leave my fragrant sloppy roses to the rain
They turn the most vibrant murky browns
To become one with iridescent heavy puddles

“Be cautious”, I warn my heart
And it scoffs in return:
“You cannot embrace air in your arms”;
You cannot make yours-
Someone who refuses to be held

You are so guarded
There is nothing to become attached to
What a beautiful pitiful shame
We could have been so almost spectacular

Jolyn

First Fig

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First Fig

BY EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY

My candle burns at both ends;
   It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
   It gives a lovely light!

Source: Poetry (June 1918).

This is my second favourite poem. I found it scribbled on a library desk some time ago, and spent the entire day mulling it over. You know something is special when you are able to recall every well placed semicolon after reading it for the first time. It reminded me that sometimes hopefulness and sadness come together like a pair of Siamese twins; or an aqueous solution of xylazine and ketamine, both soluble enough that you can no longer separate them. Hope is both beautiful and sad. It sometimes weighs down on you like lead boots that have grown too tightly around your feet. I find it strange that no one ever associates hope with tiredness. Hope is not always a new day with new possibilities: it can grow old and stale but ever lingering- perhaps it’s last defining quality.

Despite the sadness and tired hope, it brings me some form of sad comfort that everyone has their own battles to fight. I don’t truly believe that misery loves company- at least not for me. But there is strange comfort in knowing that 97 years ago, Edna fought her battles, and she was alright, and she lived her life. I am not extraordinary, and perhaps I too will fight my battles, and come out scarred, but alright. Is this what hope is?

Jolyn

Space

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I’m in a bad place. I have no drive in school, no desire to go out with friends and ultimately, just feel sad and alone. Very sad, so sad I feel like crying all the time. And I don’t know why.

It kills me when you drink. Even when you don’t, it stings. Try as I might to distract myself, I can do nothing else but think about which girl you’re currently making out with and hope that if you do bang some slut, I wont have to again witness it. Every time you go for a ‘gathering’, my next 2 weeks are fearfully spent scouring Facebook pages and blogs, heart in my mouth, that I may find something bad out. No. I don’t trust you, I don’t trust your friends and I don’t trust you when you’re with them. That you were drunk when you did it doesn’t comfort me. No. I want to believe love extends even to the subconscious, even if you won’t make the conscious decision to choose me over drinking, period. It slays me that I have to be the bad guy all the time, to feel like I’m depriving you of your social life. And I feel like I’m being unfair, childish and possessive. But it’s not fair that I can’t trust you, it’s not fair that I have to be, all the time, insecure. And it’s not fair that I still love you. I wish I were in a different sort of relationship; while things aren’t bad and we (want to) see each other everyday, we are impatient and snappy. We cease to view time spent together as special or interesting. I’ve begun to forget how to live without you, and you I fear, have began to fear less about losing me. I feel powerless over my happiness and it brings me down, you will always choose them over me. Unless I directly tell you not to, you will never make that decision based on my happiness. And I want to take it back, because you’re not going to sacrifice the bigger things for it. You need your space, from the tyrant that I can be, to drink, swear and party; to spend with people I can neither trust nor like- and I’ve tried, I have. And I want to distance myself before I’m hurt, again. Not again. And it will be years till I learn to trust again. But I don’t think you’re up for it, anymore.

I want you to be happy. But I want to be happy, too. I’m in a dark place, and I really need you right now. But you can’t be here until you choose to be.

Jol

Soco Amaretto Lime

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I turn 19 in a few minutes. I’ve learnt to dread birthdays, my parents never were big on celebrating them (or Christmas, or any occasion, really). I always shamelessly ask for a cake because I want to blow out candles and make a wish. I don’t believe in making wishes, but I want to do it just in case. I’d like to work hard to make enough money to support my family and start a college fund for my children, but I think I’d want to be there too, even if only for the special days. On my sixteenth birthday I ended up writing a wish to the birthday fairy and putting it under my mattress, I know, really immature of a sixteen year old. I still have the candles I never got to blow out, and I don’t know why I harbour the sad moments, too. I think I’ll stop trying to blow candles out.

I’d like to stay Eighteen. Growing up scares me, every year the opportunistic spirit gets dampened, the magic disappears a little: Reality and responsibility rears it’s ugly head. I’ve grown to dread birthdays because I feel like I’m clutching on to the straws of a fast receding childhood, along with; hopes; dreams; and aspirations. I don’t want to be like my parents, and all the parents around me, full of dreams but shackled by the bonds of responsibility, difficult love and long-given-up ideals. I think I’m a realist. But I want to keep dreaming, I want to keep believing that perfection is created, that the world can’t touch me unless I let it, unless I let my mind weaken. But the older I grow, the wiser I grow, I see just the opposite. People hurt you, just because. The world is filled with love and compassion, but more often you notice the envy and hate. I love my life, I am blessed in all aspects; in terms of wealth, education, family, friends and religion. Yet sadness seeps into the crevices of your soul, an unexplained sadness for the things not known yet yearned so much for; The heart yearns for a home that you have never seen, for a sense of meaning and adventure over familiarity. I have so much more freedom, to travel different countries, to study in university, to experience things other people could only dream of. Yet I feel more confined in the head and in the heart. There was more freedom in catching butterflies in my garden at seven.

The things out to get me, out to kill my spirit and replace it with machinery, they’re jealous. They’re just jealous because I’m young and in love. I’m in love with my childhood, and I’m in love with the world, I’m in love with the things I’m going to experience, the beliefs I hold and the aspirations I keep. I’m in love with the people around me, the beauty I see, and the emotions I’m put through- both the majestic and the terrible. I’m in love with an ideal, a perfection I cannot grasp but can imagine, I’m in love with life. And today I declare a war, to not let age and knowledge take that away from me. I turn 19 tomorrow. And then 20. And it goes on. They want to take it from me. They’re just jealous ’cause I’m young and in love.

I’m sorry this is such a depressing post, my birthdays make me sad. I think they always will.

`jol