Sorrow and its Stain | Nina Simone | Leonard Cohen

There are lots of ways for great sadness to manifest itself. You can experience love and loss as soon as it happens, and you can wear it in plain sight on your face and swim in it so that, as Paul Simon says “Everybody sees the wind blow”.

Something less often acknowledged is the fact that, once you’ve truly sad in the deepest sense, it never quite leaves you. You’re stained with the memory of something enormous that’s inhabited you, and the stain remains after the grief has gone.

It’s never about what caused the sadness to begin with, because that becomes meaningless over time. Grief is always bigger than its cause.

So you get up, and you walk around, and you love and live deeply, perhaps even deeper, but your every action after that sadness is coloured by the fact that you have that capacity for terrible, terrible sorrow, and you felt it completely. And that awareness is a fearsome thing.

What I’m saying is, sometimes, despite the smiles, despite the fact that the songs we sing are upbeat, the words we’re singing are no less tragic.

And just when you want to tell her
that you have no love to give her
She gets you on her wavelength
and she lets the river answer
That you’ve always been her lover

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About the anti-laugh

This blog is a shamelessly random collection of cool things, rants and nonsense. View all posts by the anti-laugh

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