Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Total Truth Tuesday

This one is particularly appropriate since I just got back yesterday from my Grandpa's funeral.

I think melancholy can be so delicious.

Maybe it's my love for poetry and literature, or because I am an emotional mess, but I have a tendency to experience melancholy alot. And its a big word that encompasses so many emotions, but my favorite one is the one that comes upon me after a certain song, poem, scent, or feeling and wraps me up in a memory or a possibility. I love to wade deep into that feeling.

Truly, I think melancholy gets a bad rap because good melancholy can make me want to just sit, quietly, and listen to Natalie Merchant with my windows open and the summer breeze gently stirring the house. It makes me want to lounge around drinking wine and smoking cloves (which I haven’t done since college). In fact, for whatever reason, melancholy tends to remind me so much of college.

One of my favorite poets, Li-Young Lee, wrote something about memory and reminiscence (which, for me, brings on that feeling). The poem is “Braiding” and if you haven’t read it I highly recommend picking up his book, Rose. It's a long poem, but my favorite part says,

“Last night the room was so cold
I dreamed we were in Pittsburgh again, where winter
persisted and we fell asleep in the last seat
of the 71 Negley, dark mornings going to work.
How I wish we didn’t hate those years
while we lived them.
Those were days of books,
days of silences stacked high
as the ceiling of that great, dim hall
where we studied. I remember
the thick, oak tabletops, how cool
they felt against my face
when I lay my head down and slept.”

See what I mean? Absolutely delicious.

"How I wish we didn't hate those years while we lived them" has been something that has stuck in my head since the moment I read that poem. I remember sitting in the food court at the mall with Thomas. He was on break from Starbucks and I was on break from Pottery Barn. I remember looking across the table at him knowing we were broke, fighting with my family, and trying to get married against everyone's wishes. It was a time of raw emotion and the feeling of being alone (together) against the world. And, I thought to myself, I know one day I'll agree with that line, but right now I hate these years.

8 years later, I realize how true that line is. I do wish I didn't hate challenging times while I live them. Because, there is not a moment in our difficult, wonderful, painful, emotional, beautiful history that I don't absolutely cherish.

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