I spend my life running from sadness. It lurks around every corner, just out of sight. I sense it there constantly, knowing it waits for me. But a productive life is not lived under the shadow of desperation. Somehow, one must escape the looming spectre—death, meaninglessness, loss—and find the sunlight, a sense of purpose, motivation to act, to pursue greatness. So I become an expert at avoidance; not to deny the existence of tragedy, but to find life.
But here, on this day, I am enjoined not to run. It is a day to sit, to let the cloud descend and envelop me, to cry and rage against the agonies of being human. Yet I find it surprisingly difficult. Why? It should be natural, merely a matter of acknowledging what I am distantly aware of always. But I am so used to fleeing. Greeting the sorrow with open arms contradicts a lesson painstakingly learned. Like a well-trained typist told to return to hunt-and-peck, I must, for one day, un-learn the skill I have acquired.
Since sundown last night, I have found moments of the sadness I know I possess, have found the tears flowing. But I have also had many moments of strange placidity. I know I have enough grief and fear within me to cry uncontrollably, to rail and rage without pause, but I cannot tap into it. I want to find the area of vulnerability, the trigger that will allow me to begin to cry, unleashing all the emotion I keep huddled inside myself the rest of the year. But I am afraid, I think; afraid of finding myself overwhelmed, unable to rise again come nightfall.