One of my new favorite bloggers, Shawna Ayoub Ainslie, tagged me in the 3-Day Quote Challenge on the theme of sadness.
It’s like she’s read my blog or something. Wink.
Yes, I have stuff to say about sadness. Yes, I can point to quotes others have expressed on sadness.
Yes, I have sadness.
Yes, sometimes I AM sadness.
One thing I’ve come to…I can’t say “accept” yet…realize is that there will be days when I feel badder-than-ass invincible and others when I feel like a veritable hot mess.
I don’t mean to recall that adage about how there are good days and bad days. Of course there are. I used to think a good day meant that all the Ts and Is were respectively crossed and dotted. My socks matched, my child and I laughed a lot and he willingly ate vegetables, and I made all the green lights. I wrote something. I read something (not a work email, not Seuss, not a bill). I laid siege to my to-do list, received an email from a stranger complimenting my writing and/or expressing support, all the laundry was done, and there was free food in the break room and a little extra money for a new scarf.
Now, a “good day” means there is no murder or rape in the headlines. No bombs, no school shootings, no racist police brutality. A good day means I feel even temporarily safe. That I’m able to visualize healing light moving from my head to my feet, and I don’t feel sore in any of the places my body was harmed over the last few years.
So I say I can’t call my awareness of that balance an “acceptance” yet. My logical mind can see that of course there are good days and bad days. But my logical mind used to think a bad day meant paying a bill late… (Not a sadness quote, depending on how you look at it, but I’m reminded of John Cusack’s character in one of my top 5 all-time favorite movies, High Fidelity: “I’ve been thinking with my gut for years and I’ve come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains!” My logical mind might occasionally have shit for brains.)
My sadness comes when my logical mind can’t turn a bad day into a good day with simple awareness. When I can’t turn off negative associations in favor of the present. When the news screams, this world is ugly and there’s nothing you can do about it!
Here are my sadness quotes. May they make you feel less alone, which in itself can be a balm for sadness:
Anne Sexton: “Talk to me about sadness. I talk about it too much in my own head but I never mind others talking about it either; I occasionally feel like I tremendously need others to talk about it as well.” (Hence that making-you-feel-less-alone thing.)
Pearl Jam: “…and there is no god with a plan, it’s sad…” (Because of course Pearl Jam. Music makes me feel less sad AND less alone.)
And because I like to break rules, and boom two female poets on this list, Emily Dickinson: “Pain–has an element of blank– / it cannot recollect / when it began–or if there were / a time when it was not.”
But here. Because I can’t end on a sad note because that’s just too sad, and because Paris, Beirut, Syrian refugees, the communities of the 45 American school shootings this year, the movement in Ferguson, all the assault and abuse survivors who don’t feel heard or believed, and anyone struggling with a similar sense of this world is ugly and there’s nothing you can do about it, these words by Mahatma Gandhi:
When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.
What works to stave off or eliminate your sadness?