Thursday 14 October 1999

Me as Fire Daedra

I am no longer the man you knew ... I am fire, and light incarnate ... now and forever, I am Fire Daedra!

(With equal apologies to Marvel Comics and Bethesda Softworks...)

Immunity to sadness

What is the opposite of happiness? That would be sadness, or sorrow. Yet I have repeatedly described the "reaction" to happiness as illness and fear. Only today did it dawn on me. That this may be because I am ... immune to sadness?

When people are severely depressed and sad and sorry and life makes no sense, they have the option of ending it by killing themselves. Not that I would recommend that, for the simple reason that it is irreversible. You can't wake up again when things get better. Life is short anyway, while death is long. So, not a good idea. But what struck me was something else. When you are happy and cheerful, there is no corresponding action. There is no anti-suicide. Whereas the extremely sad can choose to die, the extremely happy have no option to become immortal. That is rather unbalanced, don't you think?

In this journal, I have several times told you about my happiness. Sometimes (usually shortly afterwards) I have told you about my fear, which is not of life but of death. I love life. I hate death. The idea that death will take my friends and my family and me, and there is not a lot to do about it, really gets at me some times. This mix of fear, anger and resignation is probably the closest I come to sadness. Well, sometimes I have a little self-pity, but that's not much and not often. True sadness and sorrow are alien feelings to me.

Now I feel doubt, because my doctor has slyly indicated that my bronchitis may not be the work of indifferent bacteria as much as of my own repressed feelings. And it is true that I do not feel sorrow or sadness and a few more mortal emotions. Yet, would it not be foolish to want to? Like the Eve character in Perelandra, who in her innocence thought that death migh be a good idea. The emissary of Satan blithely told her that he was come that they might have death, and in abundance.

Why would I choose sorrow and sadness, darkness and loss of pleasure? I have a body that obeys me, senses that are still fairly sharp, all the food and clothes and stuff I need, and best of all: I have still most of my wits about me. (Though you may admittedly not know that from today's visual art.) If the richest man on earth asked me to switch lives, I would laugh in his face. There is no one else I would rather be than me. And the life I live, I would gladly live for ever. If God told me that I may stay like this forever, I would fall down and worship in ground-kissing thankfulness. But on the contrary, He has told me that I must go on. And so I shall.

There are things in the future that might sadden me. Most obvious to me, the fact that my best friend and I are growing apart. It must be, now that she is an adult living a very different life in a strange land. She grows up, as they have all done, and moved on. I shall miss her company, as I sometimes do already, miss her thoughtful and spirited opinions and reflections, and her ready acceptance of my one-way love, my need to share and to give without expecting anything in return.

I do have dark sides, quite dark, and I am aware of them. I do not much fear those, at least until senility has bitten deep in me. But I do fear my bright sides more, that they shall now consume me, when they no longer have an outlet and no longer find acceptance. I fear that the fire of spirit that burns inside me shall devour my fragile humanity. And I suspect that would be a truly sad thing.

Music of the day: Love to love you by The Corrs.

Adrift in time?
Yesterday (Yes, I believe in yesterday.)
This month
Tomorrow (if any.)

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