It’s an “all the leaves are brown and the sky is gray” kind of day and I’m always amazed how the weather seems to magically mirror my mood or maybe I get into a mood because of the weather, who knows? Maybe I should ask Sam Champion.
I’m sitting here in my apartment thinking that I should be a whole lot happier for a guy who just learned that he doesn’t have cancer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly thankful and relieved, but instead of turning cartwheels, I’ve been pondering the precariousness of life because that’s what happens when you grow up watching Woody Allen films. You know, fun stuff like how it can all be gone in the blink of an eye, whether it’s your health or your job or someone you love, and all of the other clinically depressing things that pharmaceutical companies have been exploiting and making billions of dollars on.
For the most part, I try not to dwell on these existential matters too often because – duh! – it’s miserable, scary and counterproductive (and I’m also not French), and even thought about not posting this ode to gloominess because god knows why anyone would want to read it? But then I thought that we all have days like this (Mama said).
I used to try to fight my way out of my own head by employing all of the handy antidotes and distractions that we’ve come to know and love such as food, the Internet, TV, music, buying unnecessary crap and, if lucky, sex, but they all proved to be momentary bliss that inexorably wore off like Novocain. There’s no amount of sunshine that can fill the black hole when you’re sitting at the bottom of it.
Then I tried the opposite approach and embraced the sadness. I’d jump into the cold waters of the shadow sea while listening to Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Radiohead and helplessly descend like a drowning man who has given up all hope. I’d just float there holding my breath and let the nothingness envelop me and wouldn’t come up for air until the darkness finally passed.
And that’s what I ultimately learned. That no matter what it was that triggered my malaise, the darkness always gave way to the light of a new morning.
Which is why I now do nothing at all. I just go about my business, thinking that this too shall pass, life goes on, the sun will come out tomorrow (I hate that song too!) and all of the other clichés that have turned out to be true. You can’t run away from days like this and you can’t hold on to it; you just have to accept it and go through it by living your life the best way you know how.
It feels like snow, but I don’t care. It’s time to go outside and face the day.