“Art is a wound turned into light” (Marina character in The Postcard Killings).
Sometimes a mirror and reinforcement break the desire to remain. Seeing oneself through another’s eyes is often the only way to see. The Jo Hari Window concept talks about four panes of a window: How you see yourself, How the world sees you, How the world and you see yourself, and that which is unknown. The point is to get into a place where you can see yourself as the world sees you or open yourself completely. Some of us cannot see how pathetic we might appear because we live alone, and no one who can see us is close enough to share their view. Unless we piss them off and they are vindictive, they may never say anything; observe.
I understand this gloom. I am not broken. I work to change it because it is well-known. I read an article today (https://medium.com/hello-love/how-to-tell-if-a-woman-is-not-interested-in-you-9fdb7fc71d4a) about why women do not choose certain men, and a couple of reasons resonated with me, mainly a negativity that I possess. My father died when I was ten; my therapist said I became “the emotional adult of the family.” A study put rats underwater, one almost to the end of death, and its behavior after that was not one of thankfulness and happiness to be alive. Still, one, who constantly questioned life, saw it in terms of that powerlessness. Psychologically, after that, the rat embodied near-death. It was hopeless and whipped. Other rats had less time underwater and were fine.
A person like that moves to the motions and potions of distress. They write in a sentimental tone and are always taking the opposing perspective. A New Yorker editor once said, however, that we don’t want to read happiness. There’s no point in that; we like to immerse ourselves in grief and pain, stories and times that bring us to tears. There’s more substance in sadness.
If you haven’t noticed, most literary works are not joyous embraces but toils within the quagmire of life. Elliot’s poem “The Wasteland” is one of my favorites. The lines and words carry me deeply. I want to be close to the earth and her actual course. You cannot learn to live; you can only learn to create art out of pain. Check out this new piece of mine: After the Rain.
I am constantly creating art of every kind, and that initial sadness has kept me in my chair. If this gives you catharsis, which it does me, then that’s the point. Sadness and perhaps happiness are on a quest to find catharsis. I don’t think happy people feel it as closely as someone in pain.