Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stop the dance of despair! Resume the dance of joy!

The world is a dark and miserable place.

I had a pretty shitty week.  Nothing particularly bad happened, it was just the combined weight of a thousand tiny frustrations and disappointments that reached critical mass and just made me hate everyone and everything for a while.  Also it was my birthday this week, I think that probably exacerbated the whole situation.

Of course when I start feeling like that I start hearing my mother's voice in my head, telling me to count my blessings and not be so ungrateful and to remember that a lot of people have much more to complain about than me.  None of that helps though, if anything that makes it worse.  Yes I fully understand that I have a better life than millions of people I share this planet with but that doesn't make me feel any better.  I don't know why people use that as a response to anyone's unhappiness.  Perspective is one thing but trivializing someone's feelings not a comfort.  If you broke both your legs would someone telling you how bad quadriplegics have it make your pain and discomfort feel any less?  Somehow I doubt it.

But then I noticed that there was a brand new "Where the hell is Matt?" video so I decided to watch that to try and cheer myself up.

What is it with these videos?  All it is, is a guy who travels all over and does a dance and some of the locals join in.  That is all.  But then why does it seem like more than that?  Why does watching it provoke such an extreme emotional response from me?  I don't get it at all but there is still enough mystic left in me that I can forgo analysis and just embrace the holy darkness.  There is a raw, numinous beauty about it and it moves me.

It also made me feel better.  Maybe all the crying (of totally manly tears, just so you know!) gave me the release I needed.  Maybe it's because it makes me feel a little bit more connected to the human family.  Who cares?  Once my despair lifted I realised something about that video though - Matt went to some very odd places this time!  Rwanda, the Gaza Strip, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Zimbabwe, basically some of the darkest, most miserable places I can imagine.  And yet...  And yet there were people there who are still dancing.  These may be some of the most unpleasant places in the world, but at least some of the people there have not yet given in to despair.  Somehow they are still finding joy.

That made me feel more hopeful as well.  And that allowed me to find some joy in my world as well.  Wasn't even that hard, turned out that there was a lot of it to be found!  Sure, this year I did get presents or a party but I did get a lot of kind words from all over the world, some even from people I've never met!  I even got a heaping helping of kindness from my favourite podcast this week!  Also, I got a bag full of chocolates yesterday.  Not the cheap stuff either, this was the good chocolate!

So yeah, there is still joy to be found.  There are still kind words and kind people.  There is still good music.  There is still chocolate.  There is still friendship.  Suicide Dachshund still wants to cuddle with me (To the death!  Yes, still...).  Even if everything is pretty shitty, you can still dance like an idiot and mean it.

The world is a dark and miserable place.  But it doesn't have to be.


Ali said...

I'm sorry you had a week of darkness and sadness! And that your birthday made it worse. A day entirely devoted to you and cake (and chocolate!) shouldn't be a cause for misery. :(

Where the hell is Matt moves me to tears every time. There is something so beautiful about how simply he captures this idea of unity and universality. I'm glad it made you feel better!

Also, chocolate and friendship ftw!

GumbyTheCat said...

Hey! I missed your birthday! I suck! Happy belated. I've been so busy tracking Freethoughtblogs' descent into utter frothing madness I haven't been on other blogs for a while. Hell, I even did the unthinkable - join Twitter - so I could watch the insanity unfold in real time!

Eugene said...

Thanks guys! You are two of my favourite people I've never met EVER!

@Ali - so glad to know it's not just me that is moved by Matt!

@Gumby - as long as the tweeting doesn't distract you from blogging!

Na Na said...

Considerin' how late this is it could very well fit into the useless category, but for what it's worth...Eugene, a much belated Happy Birthday!

I found your blog earlier this year and hadn't comeback to it till tonight when I was feelin' pretty miserable myself. I agree with just about everything you wrote. The video of Matt was awesome and so are you.

God bless you!!!

Eugene said...

@ Na Na - Thank you so much! That makes me feel all warm inside! I'm glad the video cheered you up too!