This Gentle Sadness: Mono No Aware

” It is not a sadness you manufacture, not something you own or create. It is something you find one day when you listen. And after that, it is always there. It does not mean I am unhappy, no. Just that the world I see goes far beyond the world I live in now. The world I know is a hundred thousand layers deep and counting—always.”

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There is a gentle sadness about Life. Something about growing and getting old. Because when you grow, you also outgrow and when you live, you also outlive. This gentle sadness courses through all that we touch and are, through all the known and unknown universe. It is a truth we cannot fight. Just like we cannot deny that the sun will rise and set or that the rain will fall. We are witnesses, actors in a play that we ultimately do not decide the end of.

And yet, this affliction, this soft greyness is not too common, I find. Even so, it is a way of viewing the world. A way to find beauty in the dusty city. It settles like a blanket over me, this feeling. During sunsets and in nature, as the midnight fireworks go off, as I stare away into the sky, as the end of our adventures draws near and the quiet reigns.

Often, I am quiet because I think that all this beauty dies one day. I am quiet because I am sad for the world. The one I live in, the one in 10 minutes from now, even the one from eight hundred or eight thousand years ago. It is not a sadness you manufacture, not something you own or create. It is something you find one day when you listen to the world’s stories. And after that, it is always there. It does not mean I am unhappy, no. Just that the world I see goes far beyond the world I live in now. The world I know is a hundred thousand layers deep and counting—always.

Sadness is the state of life and the world. It is a reality you learn to accept as you accept that the planets rotate around the sun and that gravity exists. There is sadness that lasts, and there is nothing to do with it, save for acknowledging it.


Listening to:

Letting Go

“But he realised he did not want to be fed to the Darkness. He did not want to help that monster grow and lure in other stray souls into that painless, lifeless vacuum. “

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Photography Credits: Edward Honaker Photography

And at that moment, he felt like giving in, like letting his body fall back into the eager arms of Darkness.

He could already imagine how delicious it would feel to not be lonely anymore—and who cared really, if his companion, the one to break the curse of all this sadness and melancholy, was a demon? …So long as he had someone, so long as he drove away the maddening loneliness, what did it all matter? Good,bad, dead or alive…

He could already taste the relief on his tongue, could feel the chill of Darkness seep into his bones. Who needed warmth when the cold could numb you over and never make you feel pain?

And just as he was about to let himself go limp in the waiting arms of Darkness…

He stopped.

He had been down this road before, knew what it entailed: momentary comfort in exchange for added pain. It was senseless; no one would agree to it. Yet all the same, it was so tempting to fall into Darkness’s loveless embrace.

But he realised he did not want to be fed to the Darkness. He did not want to help that monster grow and lure in other stray souls into that painless, lifeless vacuum. He did not want to add to numbers that were already so full of grief, did not want the sound of his name to evoke choked gasps ans watery words.

“But he looked so happy.” “He was so young.”

He wanted, he realised, to be as happy as he pretended to be.

As he walked away from the abysses that lied beneath his feet, he thought that perhaps happiness was worth suffering for.