Melancholia is originally a subset of the humors, an ancient cache of human emotion, broken into four disgusting titles that bear repeating. I came across this term during research for one of my university papers years ago. I remember being transfixed by the text, feeling like I should keep that particular word close for some reason. This however is normal practice, I tend to foster words until they find a good home in whatever chosen medium. I was hoping I’d never have to let go of this one.
But really, I prefer it to the preceded label of depression, it’s more poetic and truly evokes that tepid grey, painting the fog of self-indulgent sadness. Though melancholia is distantly related to sadness, it’s more a hollowing of your insides; you don’t feel sad, you just abide in the void. I’ve stumbled into this space at different points in my life, for different reasons.
I waited at the shoreline for the next swell to wash over me, tumbling my core like a washing cycle, then receding back to the rolling dark, until it chooses to return, creeping up to my feet. Fact is, we’ve all experienced this, at some intersection in our lives. Some seas are calmer than others and some live with a patient tempest, but it’s what makes us human, we are pliable but easily broken. In the interims, I’ve found it vital to feel the sand between my toes and appreciate the grate against my pores. It reminds me of what’s important and takes me out of the indulgence. I shake out my main sail and try to fix my sight on the horizon. Winston Churchill who famously referred to his own melancholia as The Black Dog said;
…this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.
Though it was in reference to the war at the time, like many of his quotes it has boundless meaning, i can only think it did for him. So i will give in to good sense and honorably keep this passage short but…leave the light on. 🙂