Awake I lay at night, trying to describe what you mean, trying to decipher what you are. You make me come alive, yet I do not fully understand you. You are the knowledge of life, yet I cannot fathom what you truly mean. You visit me every so often, and I embrace you till it’s time to bid adieu. Yet your enigma leaves me perplexed, mystified.
A sweet sadness. A twinge of gloom in the happiest moments. An acute awareness of how transient life is. The futility of existence. A reminder that not all suffering is bad. A token of loneliness. An understanding of the human condition. An acceptance of sorrow being an inherent part of life. A realization that life isn’t meant to be joyous and happy at all times. A glimpse of all the lives and the people around me.
A rocking chair by the window looking down at the park where I spent my childhood, and where children after me will spend theirs. A deserted school where once life blossomed and the laughter of children filled the hallways. A pen scribbling past dreams, past loves, past friendships and the years gone by. An old man walking down the road towards the post office, a letter to his daughter clutched in his hand.
The acceptance of sorrow without being too sad.
You are all of these things and more. You define me so, so perfectly. You make sense of my sadness and my temperament. You make sense of gloom without romanticizing it.
When I was younger, I hated you. You always came back once in a while, tugging at my conscience, reminding me that every triumph and happiness is transient. You were the whisper in the night when I tossed and turned and reminded myself that I was happy. I did not understand you, yet you understood me so completely. I tried to push you away. I tried to succumb to society’s expectations of cheerfulness and happiness. Leave me alone, I wanted to tell you. Let me be upbeat and bubbly. Let me be like my sweet, jolly friends who live every moment to their fullest.
But you persisted, and I thank you for that. For I am incomplete without you, and you are an aspect of my life that makes complete sense.
You are grief, yet you are satisfaction. You are gloom, yet you are comfort. You wither my heart, yet you are contentment. You are the burden of the whole universe and the awareness of the human condition. You are wisdom in the face of naivety. You are the setting sun, a reminder of another day gone by and so many different lives lived. You are the sunrise, a reminder of life continuing slowly yet passing ever so quickly. You are an accomplishment in a world full of superficiality.
You are not an illness to be cured. You are not grief, but an awareness of it. You are not despair, but a glimpse of it. You are not pessimism. You are not interchangeable with depression.
Yet you are dangerous — harmless in small doses, yet harmful if I let you engulf me completely. You let me integrate with sadness without overwhelming me. You are a core part of the human existence, and those who cannot feel you perhaps miss out on a very spiritual and liberating aspect of reality.
You are bittersweet. You are a blue symphony. You are the prerequisite of wisdom. You are the understanding of beauty and joy.
Oh, melancholy. How difficult it is to describe you! I write sentences after sentences in hopes of capturing what you really are. The happiness in sadness? The reason behind the whole of life calling for tears? A blissful kind of sorrow? A defense of gloom without depression? A passing grief every now and then? I still do not understand what you are, yet you understand me so completely.
Sweet melancholy. You are my kind of happiness. You are my retreat from the upbeat life. I seek you during odd times of the day, just to remind myself of who I am and of what life is. You visit me often, yet you leave me feeling happy and content. And therein lies my dilemma of your perfect description.