Sunday, August 9, 2009

Horrid Bliss – Life’s a Bittersweet Symphony

Normally I go to church Sunday mornings but recently I didn’t go. I found myself instead experiencing something I don’t often experience. It was a feeling that life was so good it could only get worse. Then Mondayitis entered the room of my conscious mind!

I had options open to me, lots of them. A lovely day out... a ride, a walk, write some more, play some music. Far too many good choices. Indeed, spoilt with choice. And so there I was in a rut of my own bliss. Relate?

It’s like the present isn’t enough at times. The better things get, the worse they will potentially get. But there’s the trap in not simply enjoying the moment for what it is. It’s only a moment after all, and life’s connected with moments--good and not so good; dull, boring, bliss-filled and the myriad between.

It’s the same when we hit a nice restaurant. We savour the experience and we enjoy the food and beverages on offer, but one bite and one sip at a time we’re closer to exiting that place and going back to normality. And if this style of ‘cool living’ is simply the only way for you, there’s only one way to go--south.

It’s a hard, elusive road to happiness isn’t it? This is why I like the 1997 song, Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve. It tells a truth of life. It’s never all about beer and skittles is it?

“’Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony this life,” goes the lyric. Something that is bittersweet is “pleasure alloyed with pain.”[1] Who can possibly grasp this life...? In the visual thesaurus bitter sweetness is the journey toward sadness--from “tinged with sadness” to “experiencing sorrow” to plain “sad.” It’s pleasant experience but including or marked by elements of suffering or regret.[2]

I don’t subscribe to Mondayitis, actually. I haven’t done so for a decade or more. I’ve just found that every day brings with it challenges and pleasures, simple and complex. I acknowledge that life’s a bittersweet balancing act.

Why should a Friday or Saturday be any better than a Monday? Why do we limit our joy to after work and weekends?

But it is the truth that there are some things we’ll love and some we’ll loath. Symphonic, ironic life; it’s a harmonious arrangement of all flavours under the sun.

[1] “bittersweet.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009. Merriam-Webster Online. Retrieved 9 August 2009.
[2] Ibid.

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