“Why do beautiful songs make you sad?’
‘Because they aren’t true.’
‘Nothing is beautiful and true.”
–Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
It took me a while to sit down and write again.
My last blog about skeletons was purely me: I told a truth. Talked about something I find lovely. Talked about a time I struggled through. Wrote about getting through that time. It felt real.
Though I didn’t know what to write about next. Sometimes when I write positive, lighthearted blogs, I wind up with this lingering feeling of what could be called fake. (I even had a good friend point out to me that perhaps, sometimes, I’m hiding behind my blog…. maybe I’m never telling the whole truth.)
It is called The Grey Matters, after all. It isn’t called Hey Lou Writes: Rainbows and Butterflies.
Because sometimes life is hard. And I would hate it if something I wrote made a person ashamed of their still sad feelings. “Melinda snapped out of it, why can’t I?” That’d be horrifying for me. I can only hope I never made anyone feel that way.
I realized this… I’m writing this… because I thought about all of the inspirational books and quotes out there. Everyone wants to give advice; everyone has a way out of darkness. It is a rare find that says, “Even if you have a great life, there will still be sorrows in your soul that simply won’t go away. There will be days when nothing is okay. And that is the only part that is okay.”
I’ll admit… diving headfirst into sadness is something I do well. It’s the music I listen to. It’s the books I read. It’s my overall view of the world at the moment. Don’t get me wrong. I see the beauty. I see the laughter and smiles, the old couples still holding hands… the babies and the bonfires and the clinking glasses of beer. I even see the joy in my life.
“Songs are as sad as the listener.”
I have amazing, earth shattering friends and family members.
I’ve laughed many times in the last 24 hours.
I really, really like my job.
I have been wanting to write a blog about the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close for a long time. I read it years ago. It struck me as the most tragic love story ever written. Truly; and I know this is a big claim.
I was going to name the post: The Best Demise of a Relationship- Ever
It’s just so goddammmmmm sad. It depicts those nuances of something ending perfectly… in that, well, there’s rarely something that happens. (The most ridiculous question we’re all guilty of asking is this: “What happened?”) It’s a bunch of somethings turning into nothing.
“…we required more rules, on our second anniversary we marked off the entire guest room as a Nothing Place, it seemed like a good idea at the time, sometimes a small patch at the foot of the bed or a rectangle in the living room isn’t enough privacy, the side of the door that faced the guest room was Nothing, the side that faced the hallway was Something, the knob that connected them was neither Something nor Nothing. The walls of the hallway were Nothing, even pictures need to disappear, especially pictures, but the hallway itself was Something, the bathtub was Nothing, the bathwater was Something, the hair on our bodies was Nothing, of course, but once it collected around the drain it was Something, we were trying to make our lives easier, trying, with all of our rules, to make life effortless.”
“But a friction began to arise between Nothing and Something, in the morning the Nothing vase cast a Something shadow, like the memory of someone you’ve lost.”
Right? If that sort of writing doesn’t do something to you… well, you might not actually be human.
And I understand that this isn’t solely about relationships. Hell, this week I backed my car into a trailer and ho! boy! did that put me in a funk. It’s stupid. It’s material. But it was really early, it upset me, and I still haven’t gotten over it 100%. Please tell me I’m not alone. It’s not that I don’t know that there are worse things. I have a roof over my head and I ate plenty of food today. I talked with people I care about. I took a long walk around this small town I really have found myself growing fond of.
I just can’t always say that those things take away a heaviness in my heart- the Nothing that sometimes creeps in. I feel it for myself. I also feel it for others. I probably take on too much, perhaps imagining a sorrow that they aren’t even experiencing.
So not to sound too optimistic (because I’m writing a blog that isn’t fluffy tonight! I’m sticking to my guns!)…..but I came to the realization today that Nothing is Okay. (This is not ONLY because “okay” is the second worst answer in the world, with “Fine” coming in at #1) Feeling a nothingness-sort-of-sadness for a few days, with almost no good reason, is totally acceptable.
“I’m sorry for my inability to let unimportant things go, for my inability to hold onto the important things.”
That’s basically all I wanted to say here tonight.
Oh, and a big thanks to friends who’ve heard me ramble about this topic all month. You know who you are. And you’re the ones who make it good, who make the smiles return. All I ask is you don’t give up on me as the days grow darker and colder.
Much, much love,