Thursday, October 23, 2008

Give it a big, fat hug

I read something today about melancholy in Tom Hodgkinson's book How To Be Free. It made me smile and, as everyone has found themselves a little blue at one time or another, I thought you'd all enjoy this passage.

"It may be true that, aside from external factors, melancholy is just a fact of life. So, instead of rejecting it, a useful way to deal with melancholy would be to embrace it... A very simple trick for those looking for an antidote to melancholy is to engage in some physical work. Baking bread, gardening, carpentry: all these things are productive, creative and use the body. They unite the body and soul; they are acts of harmony.

Keats, in his 'Ode on Melancholy' (1820), suggests going for a walk and gazing at the flowers and recognising that melancholy is a sister to joy and must be embraced."

Love to Melinda Webster for the image.


jackson said...


So funny, just yesterday I gave someone the same advice! When hard times come, cherish them, because they will not last forever, no?

Great post and great picture.

april said...

True that, brother J!

Like clouds, they pass.

Much love,


Christine Norrie said...

April, that was a really much needed post!

Sometimes in our hyper hyped-up hypey world we forget the fundamentals and broad ranges of our emotions... at least I do. I'm all, "ohmygawd, I'm not happy! Why aren't I happy?! WHY?! Ohgawd! Gotta be happy!"

Which then sends me into thinking too much about WHY I'm not happy, then worrying that I will ALWAYS be unhappy, rationalizing the unhappy, and you know, all wrapped up in a state of melancholia.

Wonderful and inspiring posts like yours serve to remind us to keep the hype in check, go beyond just 'coping' with the moment, and know that all things shall pass.

Thanks again. (esp. with the bonus of Keats! Love Keats!! Oh and I'm going to check out that book 'How to Be Free')

april said...

Hi Christine,

Haha, so true!! When we stop obsessing things generally start to even out. I think you'll love this book. I first read it early this year and have started up again. Sometimes books are so fab I can't absorb all their goodness in one go!

By the way, the US version of this book is called The Freedom Manifesto.

A xx

spoon said...

Lovely advice, thanks April!