"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Friday, 21 October 2011

a melancholy feeling....

Maybe I have been thinking about words too much this week.  What does the word melancholy mean to you?  It is a lovely word and I, until looking it up now, never really thought of it as meaning what it really means:-

Noun: A deep, pensive, and long-lasting sadness.
Adjective: Sad, gloomy, or depressed.
Synonyms: noun.  sadness - melancholia - gloom - sorrow - dejection
adjective.  sad - gloomy - melancholic - mournful - dismal - blue

It is a word that evokes some sadness, I suppose, but I have always quite enjoyed my melancholy moods.  Maybe it is the "melan" part which I kind of have associated with "melodies" and music and feeling melancholy - totally wrong of course but I always think of being melancholy when you think and reflect on life and love and good and bad while listening to some old favourite melancholy songs.  Off the top of my head songs like "Tears in Heaven" - Eric Clapton, "Everybody Hurts" - REM, "Chasing Cars" - Snow Patrol, "Wild World" - Cat Stevens and so many more.  Damien Rice (sorry Gareth and Nic) and "The Blower's Daughter" is one of my most hauntingly melancholy songs.  It brings back memories of Nicky and I on a bus in Ireland with a hungover bus driver belting out Damien Rice on the amazing sound system on the bus.  Now whenever I hear the song I am happy to had the opportunity to have a wonderful 5 days in Ireland with Nicky but sad because she is no longer here to share those memories with me.

Please listen to it.  

Then I think it is the weather and the dullness of the day that has me feeling a tad melancholy today.  I suppose it started with a few tears (OK lots of tears) when I woke up this morning and read Nic's blog.  Nic and his three great friends are all now 26 (and have all been in Cape Town this week) and this posting about his friendship and the three of them "being closer to 50 than to newborn", drinking beers and solving the problems of the world had me blubbering like a baby (OK a menopausal mother).  It was 8 - 10 years ago that Nic and the same three friends used to spend weekends at Albion Road.  They would come in after a night out and I would hear them raiding the fridge and giggling and laughing (my bedroom was next to the kitchen).  Now these same four are now sitting around drinking beers and discussing their future - they are all so full of ideas and hope and have the world at their feet.  This should not evoke in me the true meaning of melancholy but I do feel melancholy and happy at the same time.  Only sad because those days flew by so quickly and because I really hope that all their dreams will come true and they do not give up or become disillusioned.  Happy because I am so proud of these four young ("closer to 50 than newborn") men who grew up before I even noticed.  

That, I think, is the essence of the word - You can be melancholy and happy at the same time.  "You agree?", she asks while turning up the volume on The Blower's Daughter because she is the only one in the office today.

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