I’ve never thought of it like this before:
I often feel sad when I look at or hear beautiful things. I’ve never given much thought as to why though, because I like to just absorb the beauty at the given moment. But those melancholy feelings make sense if you think of it like that guy suggests. Everything is finite. It would be very easy to give up, on realising that. There is a fine line between understanding that everything has an end, and associating that with meaninglessness.
Just because things die, people come and go, days roll by, doesn’t mean that nothing has meaning. In fact, to me it suggests that the meaning everything has is that much more vibrant. One day these things will end, they will not be here any more. All these beautiful, wonderful things in the world. So while they are here, bold and bright and brilliant, surely that gives them more potency than if they went on forever? I think it is harder to appreciate something, and I mean fully appreciate in the sense of drinking it in and absorbing every ounce of it until your being is full up, if you know it will still be there the next day and the day after that and the one after that. When something has a limited window, it begs us to grab the moment we have and squeeze it hard, hold it close, and revel in the fact that we have that chance.
Yes. Some moments in life allow us to realise this is what we’re doing. A lot of the time we forget how important it is to hold close the things we love. It is unfortunate that it is usually tragic events which lead us to this realisation of “oh my gosh, I should really make more of what I have and let people know that I love them and take on every day of my life with new vigour”. But that’s just the way it is. Bad things put things into perspective. And perspective is all about working out what is more important.
And while a lot of the time, humanity frustrates me beyond the point of no return, there are moments when it truly humbles and amazes me. To find learning and strength from tragedy is something humans do that is truly incredible. Make happiness out of sadness, joy out of despair, strength out of pain and skyscrapers out of ruins. That’s what we do. And we’re good at it.
Beautiful things make us sad because one day they will die. Perhaps this is true. It is also true, however, that when things die we will find happiness in other places. Maybe because we understand that fleeting as it might be, love is worth it. Or because it takes the ending of a beautiful moment for us to realise that the lives of everyone on the planet are one great big tapestry of beautiful glowing brilliance. Or maybe it’s smaller than that. Maybe when one of these beautiful, wonderful things passes, we feel that tiny moment of warmth simply because we were able to witness it when it was there. That moment of “I remember when..”
Melancholy is a good word. It is not used often enough.
I hope the rest of your day contains beautiful things. Whether that be people, or sights, or moments. Embrace those things with your arms and your heart and your soul. Take in all the beauty the world gives you, and you’ll have a beautiful life.
But put some back. Just drop a little bit of beauty here and there for other people to pick up and take in so that their lives can be beautiful too. That way we can all feel melancholy and beautiful together.