Kinda Melancholy: Happy for Deep People
This is my favourite dialogue from the celebrated episode of DOCTOR WHO titled 'Blink'. In this episode, Sally (played by a very new Carey Mulligan whom I adore) is a detached young melancholy woman with a love of the past and habit of breaking in to old derelict buildings.
'I love old things. They make me sad.'
'What’s good about sad?'
'It’s happy for deep people.'
Sadness. Melancholy. Numb. Free Falling. These are a few of my favourite emotions.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a downbeat person. I don't wallow in negative and destructive emotions. Sadness and melancholy are not a huge part of my day to day but when those gentle waves roll in and the fog comes over I relish them. I am mindful to let them consume and nurture me. Yes, those feelings can be incredibly restorative.
The words listed above, now that I think about it, form the subject matter of a good portion of my favourite songs too.
There's a notion in buddhist philosophy of detachment. Typically, it's a form of analysing the parts of your life, or your outlook, that you feel unnecessarily anchored to. It's not so much a technique for assessing how much you own. More how much OWNS YOU.
But detachment from emotion or the whirlwind of everyday life can be a good thing. Meditation also helps this process by letting you go off the grid, psychologically speaking.
For me, melancholy gives me an excuse to step away from the outside and curl up inside my mind for a little bit. It's cozy in there and and sometimes its hard to leave. Perhaps there are some types of depression that have a similar psychological genesis. Depressive people can sometimes find comfort in the dark. Tragically, that comfort can become chronic and deep and as sticky as molasses. It becomes bleak and impenetrable. I don't like it there.
Early on, I think I recognised that there was a measure of goodness in sadness. I didn't fear its onset and maybe fear of being consumed is what fuels the desperation. Once you're overwhelmed, you surrender and that's never good. If you've felt that way before and you found a path out of there, good on you and your resilient self. If its something you struggle with, don't fuck around with it. Talk to someone. A loved one. A trusted friend. A complete stranger over the phone.
Or you can be encouraged and enlightened by Sally's words. 'It's happy... for deep people'. You're deep and complex and wonderfully unique.
Understand that and you should start feeling safe and special straight away.