Melancholy, the lady in Blue

Melencolia, Albrecht Dürer

So yesterday I was reading this and thought – why don’t I post something loosely based on one of Lyn’s particular essays, Melancholy, the lady in blue? After all, there’s a hint of archetypeness in such an emotion – otherwise it wouldn’t be considered one of the four temperaments,the genesis of which dates back to the ancient Egypt, later infiltrating through the fabric of time to our modern era.

However, melancholy’s meaning and intrinsic beauty seem to have been subverted with the rise of modern society, now being almost a synonym of depression. Well, I dare to disagree and fundament that it’s one of the major culprits of good artistic production, for without it we wouldn’t have things like this to ease our depressive and possible suicidal tendencies, a byproduct of our damned society.

But what’s so special about such an emotion, such an undeniably influential element in our equation of existence? It’s the summoning of ideas of ineffability, of undeniable beauty, high expectations about what’s to come and the fear of failure that comes with it. When one’s saturnine, the world looks like a little lake, where you wander and search for the unknown in a tiny shallot, always reaching the shore with the passing of time – now the choice is given: to stay in the somewhat confortable vessel or set foot to the new world, that is, beyond the land in your backyard. The melancholic ones, those who choose to see the world through the lens of future nostalgia and long gone past, are assaulted with this simultaneously panicky and confortable sensation, wandering through their brains and creating exquisite scenarios and situations, multiplying realities and layering experiences. The result? An increase in lethargy but also in creative potential.

Melancholy… It has a nice ring to it, inviting a certain mellowness, a soft, tender lullaby that cruelly embraces us.

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