Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Blues

My natural facial expression is the absence of one. I can't help it. I make a great poker player but it's not uncommon for people to assume that I'm one of those insufferable people who's bored all the time and can't seem to be satisfied with anything.
But, if you get to know me, you'll know that it’s so very easy to make me happy. I get off on the smallest of things. A good joke. A good bargain. A plate of steaming rice with garlicky adobo. Any of these – or similar simple joys - and I’m grinning ear to ear or laughing out loud. I laugh a lot.

Also, I have a unique talent for recognizing and pointing out the absurd and humorous even in the most adversarial of situations. That gets me into trouble sometimes when people take me too literally. But, good friends know me enough to laugh with me. And that’s a good thing. It makes the hairiest of problems so much easier to deal with once you’re able to make light of it.

But, sometimes I get sad. Often, the mood passes right away. The sadness can be easily dispelled by any one of my simple joys - like a gentle wind blowing a dark cloud away on a sunny afternoon.

Occassionally, the sadness stays on for days – like a thick, wet blanket that’s too heavy to be shaken off. The sadness can be triggered by any number of things. A memory. A failure. A disappointment.

Or it can just come for no apparent reason – late at night when it’s quite . Or long holiday week-ends when everyone is away doing their own thing. I never lack invitations or choices for company but there are times when I don’t feel like being a guest and the person on the periphery of the photos – there but not quite there. You know what I mean.

I suppose the sadness is a function of being alone. However, I know enough from late night conversations and caffeine or alcohol-fueled discussions with friends, that “alone” can take on many forms.

I know of many other people with families and partners and children (and pets and plants) who've told me that sometimes they too feel alone. Somebody once told me ( I have to keep track of who’s said what to me so I can attribute my quotes) that the loneliest feeling is to be with someone and yet still feel alone.

They have thoughts they want to share, tentative feelings they want to process – but there’s no one who can or wants to listen. Or no one who can understand without making it about them. It’s hard to talk to people about some things that they might construe as a judgment on their own failings (i.e. "I love you so why are you still so sad. What did I do wrong this time? Why is it that anything I do is never good enough?")

I think sadness makes one more empathic, especially with those that we see as kindred spirits. Without having to throw regular pity parties, we're able to see the pain and struggle behind the jokes and the laughter. And we're able to respect and accept the sadness in others without being threatened by it.
Without this empathy, other people seem to find it easy to easy to ignore or nullify the sadness because the reasons are not clear or obvious (i.e. "You have no reason to be sad, you self pitying-wimp, so you can't be really sad. You're just making this up in your head").

Whatever. Right now, I can't really think about other people. All I know is that tonight, at this moment, I'm feeling sad. You don't have to understand it. Just accept my current state for what it is.

I’ll snap out of this, I always do.


pretty len said...

**hugs** Tarcs!! Hope you are feeling better now...

Anonymous said...

Hey Tarcs, the blues will always be a normal part of life.

More than a blight, it's actually a good opportunity to ponder on things you wouldn't otherwise set your mind on on "a regular day". It balances out your happy days and makes you appreciate them more, it also balances you out as a person.

- Paolo V.

Anonymous said...

The blues will always be a normal part of life.

It gives balance-- making you appreciate happier days even more when you have them. It also helps you appreciate "what you have", and makes you look forward to "soon" and "some day".

The blues gives you a better sense of who you are, where you've been, what you've been through and where you wanna be.

ALL that, or it could be self pity. Which isn't very "YOU".

You're too bloody profound for something as trivial as self pity.

Cheers Ninong :)

-Paolo V.

paris phil said...

It's just a matter of attitude, my friend.... look at me...i'm alone but i'm not lonely!!! or maybe part of mid-life crisis...