The art of melancholy and its pursuit in creativity

art of melancholy

Melancholy is the atelier of creatives as is buzz the characteristic of social hobnobs. The artistic pursuit that stems from the essence of creativity finds expression through a range of forms- be it poetically, prosaically, lyrically, artily, craftily et al even when the underlying premise remains the same. But even when happy songs and bright, vivid imageries abound in the world of the imaginary, there always has been a certain romanticisation of grief that evokes the most sentient of sentiments in a way that is not just profound but also utterly relatable.

Why this innate attachment with melancholy the human spirit harbours is not a matter quite perceptive. But it perhaps has something to do with the assurance that none of us is alone in the grief that serves to make this grieving glory so much of a catharsis. Because seldom do we seek in happiness a shoulder to lean on, rarely do we wish for something else in midst of the happiness currently doing the round in our lives does sadness ironically takes a more poignant interpretation than smiles ever will. To reiterate that humans are perhaps the most selfish of creatures would not be an exaggeration; we indeed are drawn to others in need and expect them to be there for us selflessly even when others likely cannot keep the same expectation from us.

The charm of melancholy is far more intense than the spark of joy, the loss of an ideal feels far more hollow than the pleasure of gaining it. This is what can be attributed to the soliloquy of grief- in working our way out of the pain, we consider and reconsider it so much that we tend to exuberate it. Because poring deep into a wound is no way of curing it, so too seeking solace in sadness should be no any way to work our way out of it. And yet, there we stay, pledging allegiance at the mere mention of sorrow because we forever are souls alarmingly unaware of our own existence. We forever dwell in the paradox of life being the means to death- which in itself is as frightening and disturbing a notion than any other that might have emerged from a sane mind. In our own profundity therefore, are we any more sane than those minds we call insane? Deliberately sabotaging our very existence with such thoughts that can berate any semblance of sanity, coercing ourselves into believing that life is at least as much futile as the many blessings it professes to endow us with.

How then can an array of the gloomy arts act as a nepenthe to the gloom having us in despair? Melodies carry to us intensely the realization of the grief while art manipulates the suffering to a different level altogether. But literature perhaps is a bit more lethargic- in allowing for laconic expression yet persisting mainly in verses, words somehow subtly advert the impact intended on a mind full of darkness, making it act its way out of the mess by bringing to it such interpretation of the subversial and the intimate that indeed can be the most efficient of elixirs.

But however might we choose to downplay the glorification of grief there’s something about the Cimmerian though that renders it far more romantic than the glory of shades at play. So much so that we dig out obsessive literature and haunting melodies or disturbing arts to find our safe haven in. Perhaps it is something manifestant of the urge of discovering peace in solidarity, of calming our mind with the reason that we indeed are not alone that we forever idle our spirits away in such pursuits that are deep, dark and dreary.

Only in dealing with the bleary can we expect to work our way out of the hollows we are so deep stuck in. It only is an ode to life perhaps that in our celebration of the pensive and the painful we are so accommodating of all the blues and the burdens that life has to endow us with. For seldom can we appreciate beauty if there also is no beast we can despise parallely- yet with all our heart and to all its content.

To the bright and the beautiful, to the dark and the ugly, we owe equal allegiance and perhaps this is why we let the beauty of joy speak its own way while we choose to have the dark, the sad, the sorrowful and the bad speak their own mind. Because isn’t it the very beauty of darkness where we will be eventually ending up cosy and contented in, in all our happy plight?