Plague Journal 9: On sadness

There’s something woefully indulgent when writing about sadness. Yet what is this blog if not indulgent? We claim indulgence as an excuse, we pretend to revel in failure. When we had 10k visitors a month, for a shitty blog about unfunny Zoflora reviews, we stopped posting for 2 years until everyone had left. When we had an agent for our book, we stopped replying to their emails until they, too, proved us right, betrayed us and left.

We pretended these as successes, reveled in them, even. It was proof Van Gough was right about one thing at least.

Escher’s Towers

Failure, abandonment of the blog was not us being cool or edgy or indie, it was us not handling pressure. Our jokes are not defences. Our walls, supposed to keep the world which hates us out, keeps us in.

Us, stuck fast in this slow moving world with nothing to dwell on about failures and underneath those, our walls of failures, our serried ranks of sepia memories of fuck ups, underneath all of that is sadness.

The last illusion of wealth is time.

You know what Van Gough’s last words were? A July morning after breakfast. He leaves for the last time. Were there larks? Were there clouds or was it cloudless? We would hope cloudless, he deserved that. Though we doubt hope severely. Then when he comes back, to his bed like a dog, he said ‘The sadness will last forever’. The sadness will last forever. After all the evidence of his genius, all that work and pain to get those insights. After all that, suffering gave him his final truth, his greatest revelation was his last words.

Sadness washes over us like waves. Some big, some small, continual. We gasp under them, drowning, knowing there is no escape, knowing they’ll knock us over, will floor us.

Quarantine is really fucking us up.

Last words, last words, stop.

Image credits: Lasse Møller