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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mood Appraisals, Pt. II

Originally I was going to write about verklempt next in this series of articles on moods, but instead I want to tackle melancholy, since it can fit the season so well.

Melancholy is one of the more underrated moods, suspended gracefully between positive and negative, faced toward the good while occasionally looking over its shoulder at impending doom, lending it an ambiguous air of muted exhiliration. This emotion has been gathering bad vibes through its association with darkened clouds, and consequently is perceived as gloomy, which is an unfortunate set of circumstances. The melancholy state can be quite cleansing in its pure form, often the result of being confused or having been stultified, only to grace the surface and break free from the foreshadowing clutches.

In its early stages, melancholy brings depth to the melee so that it is less elusive, and thereby manageable — a self-imposed life raft. From there it can develop into a myriad of substrata. Through the melancholy state, one may get the sense of drifting, and bumping off things without noticing them much, all the while uncertain what the next move should be, or even if one has such control. It’s a temporary loss of focus, yet if left unencumbered it can also produce its own gentle fog to calm the fears while the shore is being reached.

In the conventional sense, melancholy can bring down empires. Or even worse, it can produce writer’s blog, as we have all too clearly seen here in the past week. It can inadvertently fill the void with marinated esperanza. And it can serve papers to the winsome that Rastafari is in town. Basically, it can really mess up your mojo. But…

In the process, as melancholy takes one over jarring, fitful, meandering paths that rankle the delicate soul, in due course for the intrepid heart ultimately it leads to serendipitous respite, making it in conclusion worth its perilous journey.

I had once written a poem that captures the mood well for me, and it seems to fit now. Sometimes one writes poems for reasons unknown, only later to find a secure place for them. This one takes us through the early stages, leaving all to wonder the fate of nations.

The Wet of Water

A whisper in my imagination comes the damp wind of a life lived best on rainy days. With purpose, the campy sky descends and hovers in an embrace of terrain. Reluctant at first, a willow leads the trees to weep, all now tearfully content. Curiously, a lost dog dim in my sight, skipping around in and out of view. He loves the rain but tries to leave it. Every time, the dryness of shelter captures his interest only briefly; he must go back out and feel the drops. He'll swim and he'll drown, and he'll get dry again. I lose sight of him once more. He's gone. Vanished into the mist, though not escaped. More of the incessant pitter-patter, drip-drip. In lockstep with moods and regrets, the pouring cacophony persists. Dancing droplets spreading in distorted mirrored puddles revealing available light in short supply. Reflections of shiny promises that bounce up and meet the eye, inviting to join in a newness of strength. The rain reaches all objectives and begins to soak her helpless mother earth. The softness of the drenched landscape calms the senses, an utter wetness as its own emotion. Stark clouds are messengers of hope, delivering tales of ruin and renovation. With no glaring sun to intrude, the undefiled light resonates reality to a parched valley of murky fears. The eager pup seen again running through a glistening meadow, running away or running toward — perhaps both. He turns around to chase his tail, then continues across the horizon, still running. The clouds jostle and collide. Never tasting the downfall and out of its reach, I flinch at the sudden sounds. New streams created, running on contact with the soil. Rivulets flowing down, heading for unknown destinations, taking in deliberate form the lowest path. The surroundings covered in a dense fog; a hazy bubble in its own world, seeing nothing past the immediate. The afternoon sky threatens into dusk. The day is shorter, the light departs sooner. Radiance never before noticeable stands out in torrential dreariness. A darkened glow of relative significance. Contrasts are made clearer. The coolness of the air permeates all that it touches, causing haste and portending of a soggy field begging fumigation. Then the downpour overtakes in sheets and distorts the view. Off in the distance, the dog returns in a fit of urgent despondent shoulder shrugging to his post, as the rightful veritable melancholy one, and he barks silently while the rain camouflages his tears. Is his smell gone, I wonder. He knew the way without the rain, but with the rain he wanders — disoriented, out of touch, absent. His pitiful stare tells he is waiting for more clues, as he has turned to the left and the right, back and forth, and they all bring him back to the center of ultimate moisture. He is a drizzled captive, subject to precipitating mercy found in this enclosed existence. He waits on, as his only known option. He waits on... in the rain.


Anonymous said...

"This emotion has been gathering bad vibes" by its association with Gordon Lightfood music. Ha! I'll be here all night, People.

Sometimes I think you write just to make me feel stupid. Why must you make me concentrate so much?

Anonymous said...

Okay. I'm done reading.

Did you mean to say "writer's block" instead of "blog"? Freudian slip?

Jack Johnson and James Taylor are the salvation of your playlist. I mean... I love every single song on your playlist. Especially Gordon Lightfood. [Cough]

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