sadness

Lucky to Live Sad Moments

Lucky to Live Sad Moments

"Sadness is poetic. You're lucky to live sad moments...Because we don't want that first bit of sad, we push it away...You never feel completely sad or completely happy. You just feel kind of satisfied with your product, and then you die." 

~ Louis C.K. 

The Beautiful Fragility

The Beautiful Fragility

Let it come closer, let it engulf you if it must.
Until there is no division between self and sadness.
Until you cannot call it sadness at all. 
Until there is only intimacy. 

~ Jeff Foster

Paradox of the Border

Paradox of the Border

"What is this addiction? We have destabilized much of the world with our addiction. We’ve created a drug economy in Afghanistan, in Thailand, in Bolivia and we’ve caused turmoil in Guatemala and now we have elevated thugs in Mexico to the status of billionaires with our despair. And yet, we are an optimistic people."

~ Richard Rodriguez

A Way Through

A Way Through

"The quite cynical response would be to say, Why we love nihilism in pop culture is that it saves us having to be burdened with it. It saves us from feeling it. We can enjoy it in our rooms. We can get off on it. And then we let it go and we go back to work." ~ Simon Critchley 

A Different Relationship to Sadness

"We had some very important evidence here that suggested that the ability to work with sadness in people who had recover from depression may determine whether they're able to go on and sustain the benefits of treatment or whether they're going to relapse. But how do you work with a trigger of relapse like sadness when sadness is also a feature of our universal human experience? We weren't interested in trying to eliminate sadness. We weren't interested in trying to get people not to feel sad. What we really needed to do was help people develop a different relationship to their sadness. And what does that mean in terms of trying to teach people certain skills. This is really the point at which mindfulness comes into the picture."

~ Dr. Zindel V. Segal, from "The Mindful Way through Depression," TEDx Talks, April 2014


See also:

Williams, J. M. G., Teasdale, J. D., Segal, Z. V., Kabat-Zinn, J., & Sounds True (Firm). (2007). The mindful way through depression: [freeing yourself from chronic unhappiness]. Boulder, CO: Sounds True. [Sounds True, library]

Mindfulness Research Guide

The Important of Kindness and Hush

The Important of Kindness and Hush

"There's a thing when we're children we experience. It usually exists in libraries and it's called the hush. Like this magic world called Hush. There's not many places now to find hush. Somethimes I really do think if every person would experience hush—even if they almost have to force it on themselves for a while—just the bird, just the wind, nothing else, hush—there would be less violence." 

Standing Strong Together

"The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one...We can't really expect to find an answer when we're still afraid of the question....The only way we're going to beat a problem that people are battling alone is by standing strong together."

~ Kevin Breel, from "Confessions of a Depressed Comic," TEDxKids@Ambleside 

See also: 

 

Worse or Better

"The Bed Song": from Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra's album, 'Theatre Is Evil,' get the track FOR FREE / NAME YOUR PRICE at AmandaPalmer.net: http://bit.ly/AFPshop

video script/concept written by amanda palmer. 
directed by Michael McQuilken http://www.qmotionpictures.com
produced by Jennifer Harrison Newman. Filmed on location at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College on August 22-24, 2012 as part of a Live Arts Bard residency. 

Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Excerpt from "The Trauma of Being Alive," by Mark Epstein, The New York Times, August 3, 2013:

"I like to say that if we are not suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, we are suffering from pre-traumatic stress disorder. There is no way to be alive without being conscious of the potential for disaster. One way or another, death (and its cousins: old age, illness, accidents, separation and loss) hangs over all of us. Nobody is immune. Our world is unstable and unpredictable, and operates, to a great degree and despite incredible scientific advancement, outside our ability to control it...

...The willingness to face traumas — be they large, small, primitive or fresh — is the key to healing from them. They may never disappear in the way we think they should, but maybe they don’t need to. Trauma is an ineradicable aspect of life. We are human as a result of it, not in spite of it."


See also: Epstein, M. (2013). The trauma of everyday life

Into the Change

Topiary Park, November 4, 2012

Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower
by Rainer Maria Rilke, from In Praise of Mortality: Selections from Rilke's Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus (translation by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows) 

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29


See also: "A Wild Love for the World," On Being, March 17, 2011

Silence Lets Your Mind Just Be Free to Run Around

Silence Lets Your Mind Just Be Free to Run Around

"I think that the reason they want to have music in a funeral home is that the silence lets our mind just be free to run around with whatever thoughts that we have. And if somebody's in a funeral home, they're very likely to be having sad thoughts."

~ David Young

All These Years

For Samantha
by Daron Larson

As with everyone I have ever loved,
I have imagined your death too many times to count,
yet what a gulf remains between my imagination and reality.

Who would have thought to imagine such heat,
the persistent threat of rain, the pink blanket,
or the completeness of your naive trust in us.

One of the things you have taught me
is how easily and willingly I’m able to create
stories of danger and loss in the absence of either.

Let’s not pretend that you were ever a gifted meditator.
Such frequent restlessness and distraction,
even in the absence of verbal thoughts!

But you were a brilliant meditation teacher,
helping me to see that not all of nature’s sounds are pleasant,
and the danger in needing them to be.

You were able to embody focus — demonstrating how
one hundred percent of one’s attention can be trained
on eating, on greeting, on scanning the world through the glass in the door —

and joy,
multiplied by how many of us
returned home to you: 1, 2, 3.

It’s been so long since you could hear
the sound of food hitting your bowl,
or feel the thrill of the flight down the stairs to devour it.

You gave us a glimpse at the origins of language
by demanding — in pained, near-human vowels — permission
to clear the yard of harmless invaders.

We won’t ever be able to forget
how you became each day
the full expression of yearning, of savoring, of exhaustion.

The only thing you loved more than
eating and smelling and chasing
was to shadow us as often and as closely as possible.

All these years,
and leaving you has never gotten
the slightest bit easier —  

not today most of all.

Samantha White (November 11, 1996 - July 5, 2012)We can never express enough gratitude to you
for giving us more reasons to care about this world
apart from our own needs.

Thank you for living with us all these years,
for helping to make a home out of our creaky house,
for never turning down a nap,
and for insisting that it was time for life to begin again every day.

You are alive forever
in the story of our family
and in our hearts.

 

Something Much Larger than Just Trying to Be Happy

Excerpt from What to Remember When Waking by David Whyte:

One of the great theological inherited understandings about an everyday human life is that it is absolutely and completely and totally and utterly unique. These forces, this particular tide, will never ever appear again. There'll be other elements, other individuals, other incarnations, but this incarnation, this threshold that you stand on, these qualities, these difficulties that you bring with your qualities and your virtues, have never been bound together before in such a potentiality. 

I often think that if the rest of creation could actually speak, it would be looking at us wondering why we quibble about the details of living out our lives when everything around us and everything inside us is so utterly and totally unique. 

Lying underneath this great theological dynamic is the understanding that every human being must remember the particularity of their own place here on earth, and their own qualities and the way they take joy and sadness in life.

A good well-felt sadness in life can be just as generous to others as a well-felt joy.

What we're talking about here, in many ways, is something much larger than just trying to be happy in life. Happiness is not a large enough word for the deeper satisfactions that human beings are searching for and will search for and have searched for through recorded time.