Tuesday, January 04, 2011

December's Last Release

ROSALIND:  They say you are a melancholy fellow.

JACQUES:  I am so.  I do love it better than laughing.

R: Those that are in extremity of either are abominable fellows, and betray
themselves to every modern censure worse than drunkards.

J:  Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.

R: Why then, 'tis good to be a post.

--As You Like It, Act IV scene i

I enjoyed the holiday period, as I always do.  As always, it was too short -- it's the one time of year that I can never get enough of.  Even the fact that I had a radio in my house permanently on and playing Christmas music since the first of November didn't phase me.  I did get sick of it, but only because the station's selection was so limited.  My own CD collection and a little help from Pandora to the rescue!

I enjoyed the season when I was younger, but I enjoy it so much more now that I can't be with my family and loved ones as often as I'd like.  I worked up until Christmas Eve, then worked up until New Year's Eve.  In between, I dashed home for a few days (twice as long as was originally apportioned to me by work).

For New Year's Eve, before the office party I settled in and watched "Toy Story 3".  I enjoyed the first two -- they're sweet comedies that are amazingly produced.  I assumed part three would be more of the same.  It was, in many of the ways that films can be compared.  Same characters, new characters, new action, new struggles, same heart.

But I came away strangely sad, and not just because it was the closing chapter of the trilogy.  I have no desire to spoil anyone to the storyline, but it's enough to say that there is a rather heavy moment where all is lost.  Faced with a lack of options, characters surrender to the certainty of oblivion.  It was a wonderfully layered moment for a "children's" movie, though it caught me off balance.  The strike was so heavy that it colored much of the evening's celebrations.  It was like trying to have conversations and pay attention while a mysterious music played in my ears that only I could hear.

Later in the weekend, I had a visit from an old friend who's moved away from Kansas City, but returns every few years to meet with old friends.  She and I met at our usual cafe in Westport and got down to the business of making each other think.  Discuss career philosophy for a while, then on to the true meat: relationships. 

We neither one of us have been very successful.  She's stymied by having a courteous and loving relationship for the first time.  She's wary because she feels that she's missing the exciting and unplanned passion, but she has no idea whether or not that's a good thing, knowing that previous passion-lead romances lead to wrack and ruin.

She had a good laugh or two at the various clown car of unfortunate dates I've had over the months.  We had an interesting conversation about why we never dated and what that says about us.  For my part, she's very much the type of woman I'm interested in: she's smart, she's clever, she's talented, she's take-charge.  Even so, there's no romantic flame between us. Whatever we have is more the relationship between siblings than partners.  Thinking as I do now about whether or not I'd want someone different who behaved in similar ways, I still shake my head.  Whatever is marked in my genes has told me she's not the one.

But the conversation was interesting, not least because I was able to unpack parts of my head in a way I can't through other more public share-media.  Like Jacques from As You Like It, I have grown fond of and attached to my melancholy.  On some days, I do love it more than being merry.  I haven't made the nasty slide to complaining about life, but I do work my way through my days thinking many things are "a shame" or a missed opportunity.

So I slid into the new year without pickup up any of the trappings of the season.  I made no resolutions.  I did not cast my mind back to goals which had not been achieved.  I did not take stock of my life or happiness.  What I did do was sit down in the mud and think -- metaphorically, of course!  For a short period, it became very easy to move myself to tears by thinking about injustices and disappointments.  Witnessing other people enjoying themselves was a surefire way to get me grumpy.

It was a melancholy.  I never got angry or overly sad.  Just disappointed and frustrated, like watching a piece of cake sail by you in a river and never reaching out for it, though cake sounded delicious at that time.

1 comment:

  1. If you lived here, I would totally set you up if you'd let me :) It was good spending time with you while you were here and we look forward to seeing you in February!