Sundays are tough for people who are sad.
It is the one day before the week starts again.
It is the day you feel obliged to make the most of.
It is the day when the world expects you to be happy.
And yet, it is often the saddest day of the week for you when you are sad.
Sadness need not be a black hole that swallows you and everything that goes with it.
Sadness is darkness.
All it takes is a match, a torch, or a lone star to light your way back.
I love the darkness for it shows me the stars. And the moon.
I hope this makes you smile in your darkness too, if you are having a particularly sad Sunday.
Take out the flowers
Throw out the dirty water
Rinse out the vase
Put it away
René Ricard (1979-1980)
Everyday is a new day.
How cliché. How true.
Except I dried those flowers and locked them in a state of semi-permanence.
Cherry blossoms and its impermanence are a cruel but beautiful reminder of how fickle, fragile and finite our emotions can be. As we watch them wilt and scatter, we stand and gaze with the hope of seeing the same beauty and magnificence again one day. We cannot do the same for certain things in life.
This René Ricard poem. Its brutal simplicity speaks such truth.
A mundane act of cleaning out a vase could hold such significance.
Either that, or I am being overly dramatic and sensitive these days. Fucking hormones. And general exhaustion.
I bought a book on my recent trip to New Zealand. “500 Words You Should Know” by Caroline Taggart.
The first word my daughter pointed out was “discombobulated”.
And it’s the perfect word to describe how I have been feeling these past few months.
According to this book, discombulated is “a jokey word meaning exactly what it sounds as if it means: confused, disconcerted, ‘thrown’ in a big way. You might be discombobulated by an interrruption or by the appearance of an unexpected guest; on a bad day you could be generally discombobulated, not with it and unable to cope with the many questions that life throws at you.”
Life has been throwing many questions at me and I have not been able to cope.
And in my quest to find some solace in this rather noisy and upset world, I came across the “art of doing nothing” – 無為 (pronounced WU WEI or oooo-way) – a Chinese concept from Lao Tsu. It literally means “no trying” or “no doing”, but it is not about doing nothing. It is rather a state of mind where one is in his/ her most natural state, in harmony with one’s surroundings/ situation. And also a state of “effortless action”.
Seems to make so much sense and no sense whatsoever to me at the same time.
And in exploring this concept, I have somewhat already found some peace and answers.
Isn’t that the Art of Doing Nothing?
From being/ feeling discombulated, not in harmony with myself and the world around me, what I seek is the state of 無為 – through effortless inaction. To just be.
The past few months has been a state of frantic action, goal oriented planning and doing which has thrown me off balance. So much so that I no longer enjoyed the things I once loved.
So I decided that I will do nothing.
Till balance is restored, or at least till I am combobulated. (If there is such a word…)
Rainy hot humid season.
Not my favourite.
Other people find Autumn and Winter melancholic.
Summer depresses me.
The heat. The humidity. The heaviness in the air.
It’s hard to breathe.
Like wading through a fog. My head feels thick.
I’d rather have the heavy rain from last week.
Thankfully the forecast is for rain this weekend.
Please let it POUR.
Timing is important, she realised.
She wanted to undo the request, but it was too late.
I should have made a different request, she thought.
Simple as they were, the effort involved in making these requests made her throat constrict.
And then she remembers.
Those were your words.
You had asked me the same thing.
I want you to be happy.
You’d think this was the sweetest thing anyone could say to you.
Yet it made your throat constrict.
Being happy is a huge request.