Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Celebrating a Sadness

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”

~George Bernard Shaw.

A safe life or a daring life; what’s it to be?

During a recent bout of inexplicable sadness, like a fleeting period of gloominess, I just couldn’t put my finger on what exactly it was that was causing my grief. It certainly was the feeling of failure, but a broad and uncharted failure, and too many things of acutely-broad sadness to really grasp.

After a short time I reacted at myself in anger—the customary and predictable secondary emotion masking the primary sadness. It wasn’t long, however, before I slunk back into my quiet, resigned and forlorn state.

The Gentle Allure of Sadness

We have to be careful with sadness for we’re drawn into a sinkhole very quickly. However, we also most fundamentally need to experience our raw sadness.

It’s the person who can take an awkward pleasure like sadness and conform that beast to truth that we admire. They take the pattern of failure, however acute or chronic, and they fashion it to suit their purposes. They gain even more usefulness out of it.

But in doing this, they warrant the beast knowing always what nemesis they deal with from the outset. Sadness has a chunky sort of gait about it; its digestibility is forever questionable.

Experience is Primary to Celebration

We cannot actually fully vindicate celebration without going through the experience of the thing. We therefore cannot enjoy the product of our sadness without experiencing it, just as we cannot celebrate them or our destination from the other side without journey into or through it.

It is a wise and blessed person who, in the midst of it, can celebrate their sadness mid throe.

Just as wise and blessed is the person who does actually celebrate the sadness from the other ‘got through’ side.

Failure is not the end... it’s actually an important beginning.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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