… that I dwell more comfortably in sorrow than I do in joy.
Happiness and positivity, those habitual mantras, are void and null without the presence of profound sorrow; it is this exquisite state that constitutes the sole reference against which joy may bounce. The way death defines life and life defines death too is part of this self-validating dance of the binary, with either outcome inextricably linked to the other’s existence.
My conscious life began with suffering. Long before infinity and mortality should have been concepts for a young mind to contemplate, my gentleness was plunged into that vacuum where tears and sleep were all that rendered emotion effectual, or bearable. I embraced the unembraceable and settled in the place where my suffering could equate to love; the place where it could fill the chasm of all the things I would have said and done with a sadness so pure it revealed to me the inherently spiritual genesis of human emotion. And so I stayed there, for a while.
Such sorrow is companion for life (I will die with it by my side), even as the episodes of complete surrender begin to abate. Once less than incessant, spiritual suffering slowly gives way to nothingness; to a flatness where down and hence up and vice versa are no longer upheld. There stands the barren wasteland of no binaries and no existence – a void where mental exertion remains the only thing that makes you human. The terrifying feeling of neither 1 or 0, yes or no and the sense that this may never change. There I stood, trapped where no emotion is present so as to manifest its opposite.
The ones who persevere shall eventually overcome the emptiness and return to those pairs locked in perpetual self-definition. Having made it through the hollow abyss I remain forever conscious that the joy I feel is borne out of my intimate companion, my sorrow; and that whilst I may have mastered the exquisite pain, in happiness I am but a fledgling. All which I feel, which may appear exaggerated or ‘uncool’ (to degrade the language to the exhausted level of millennial expression) springs from the terrifying nothingness I carried for so long. No longer empty, I shall not for a second regret that I spoke passionately of how I care for or admire you, as anything is better than naught; and I shall never shy away from that profound sadness, for joy can spring from nothing else.