As the James Taylor song goes,
Maybe you lost your job
Maybe you lost your girl
Maybe you feel like you’re losing your mind
That’s not the end of the world
Everybody gets to feel some pain
Everyone got to get caught out in the rain
Everybody got some days that they can’t explain
Everybody Has the Blues
The plain truth is, sadness is hatched in every human being at some point in their life for no family is flawless, no human being perfect and no lifetime untouched by darkness. The sadness I refer to is one that never completely dissipates and it is usually born during the innocent years. It is frequently a byproduct of the loss of someone deeply loved, or the betrayal of someone deeply trusted, or the unexpected dysfunction of a situation so close to being perfect. Sometimes it comes to life in the throngs of grief when a sister has died too young and there exists confusion over what heaven really is. Sometimes it introduces itself when a parent, for the first time, becomes someone impossible to respect. Sometimes it sneaks into the room when a loving uncle becomes too affectionate in all the wrong ways. For some, it is the spawn of a backhanded smack across the face or the sudden unexplained absence of a pet loved through and through. Or worse yet, occasionally it sprouts from an ugly act of selfishness, dishonesty or violence for which we personally are the culprit. Some things simply cannot be undone and they plant dark seeds within us that never completely depart. The sadness and secrecy at first become something to deal with, then something to live with, then at some point, something to bury. Most adults bury it well, without the trace of a tombstone for others to detect, for if others could spot the sadness in each of us, then they would know that we have fault lines. They would know that we are somewhat damaged goods and that we have ugly scars which may have healed, but still left traces of their original trauma.
And just when we think that we will never say hello to those hurts again, the foreboding knot in our stomach pays us an unexpected visit. The catalyst may be as benign as the aroma of bourbon at a Christmas party, or the first three notes of a song on the radio, or a blast of cold wind that ushers in the fragrance of a blazing bonfire. It may be the melodic solo at a funeral of someone we barely knew. Just when we are confident that those old memories have been exiled for good, our senses betray us and we are transported back to that place, that time and that sensation where they all began. For some of us, the tears invited by a sappy movie can in an instant become tears for a different reason, a distant season or a person long forgotten. For each of us, sooner or later, the sadness will pay an unannounced visit. However, as long as we know that it may come back but will eventually leave again to hibernate, we can let it stay for a day. As long as we are aware that it may sneak into a room on tip toe, or it may slam through the heart like an unseen freight train, we can cope with it. As long as we give it a nod, look it straight in the eye but make a promise to our self not to stare, it will for the most part stay in its own room, right where the blues belong.