I woke up from a dream this morning in hysterical tears.The dream had this effect because it involved the death of a loved one, but also emphasized the unpredictability and inevitability of such an occurrence. I don’t normally have vivid or emotional dreams, so this really shook me up.
The thing is, I have never experienced such great grief in my seventeen-plus-a-bit years. People I have known have died, but I have never reacted as emotionally as I did as I awoke from this dream. I remember screaming to myself in the dream, realizing for the first time how unfair death truly is and wishing for it all to go away. And because it was a dream, it did. The terrifying part was (and is) knowing that one day I would not (and will not) be able to wish the grief away.
I question humanity’s ability to remember this sort of pain. I am already forgetting the piercing emotion that gripped me this morning; this was one of those cases where I told myself, “You must not forget how this feels,” but, of course, to continue living, I have forgotten the core of it.
I had a discussion with a friend recently about how difficult it is to remember feelings. Nostalgia is a sprite that tells us things which may or may not be true. We will remember things to be better and worse than they were, and our memories will never match the vividness of the thing as it happened, the unbounded clarity of the glorious and terrible present. (Tangentially, I recommend Jonah Lehrer’s recent Wired article about the neurology of how remember.
I think if we all knew better the grief of losing those we care about most, there would be fewer wars and murders. But of course this is only conjecture. And if we all lived with untarnished memories of grief, we would live perpetually haunted, unable to move forward. (This is explored in depth in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, which I am currently reading for class.)
I did realize this morning that humanity really does need art. I have heard many times from various people that art and the empathy it induces are keys to a better world. I suppose it is the ultimate challenge to make someone feel, via art, the grief of death experienced, or even procured by the subconscious. My favorite video blogger, Rosianna Halse Rojas, recently wrote a truly stunning piece of writing about her grieving after her father’s death (I highly recommend purchasing it; it only costs $3, and it is absolutely worth every cent and much more.) called “Abstract and Brief Chronicles of the Time,” in which she writes the following:
I have honestly never noticed it as much as I do now, for obvious reasons. But maybe contemporary American fiction is all about losing your father. Maybe that’s what postmodernism is. Maybe that’s what fiction is, and has been, now and always.
Perhaps I haven’t learned enough from Harry Potter, but I fear death. I fear losing those who have made me happy, and I fear my own death, beyond which I will most likely not be able to do things any more. But what if art can teach us the lessons of death, what ever those may be, before we must experience it? I don’t know if this is true, but what if what if what if. I’m not sure if it is possible to ever come to terms with death. But perhaps in attempting to understand it we can become better, if that means anything.
I'm Alec. I'm go to high school in Seattle, which is a great city. I apologize if some of the stuff on this blog is immature; I was a different person when I started posting here than I am now. I tried to clean up some of the more distasteful things.
Colophon(ish):Don't download music or any other copyrighted material off of this site! That is illegal and wrong! All of my original work on this site is licensed under unless otherwise stated. Original theme by Peter Vidani.
Things I feel particularly loving for at this moment: my yellow Arrow t-shirt (Clare and the Reasons!), Pushing Daisies, FIREFLY, Community, Netflix on my phone, anticipation to go back to school, sleep, questioning whether "anticipation to go back to school" is grammatically correct, the new Voice number I just got, those times when my mind is thinking clear enough that I can actually write things in this list and not keep flipping away and feeling like I need to sleep, Luna Lovegood-(8.26.10)
theta, spring, fun ferry rides with friends, music, feeling carefree, throwing it all to the wind, future less vivid, sun, some traits of myself, insignificance, Luxana, birds, blue things, green things, white things-(3.7.10)
So I decided I'm just going to add to this list and not delete older stuff-knowledge, good things, friendly people, REGINA SPEKTOR!, words, mathematics, NPR, Luna Lovegood, the design of Wired, colours, science, more-(12.2.09)
Participles, Luna Lovegood, Mika's new album "The Boy Who Knew Too Much," Alec (me), snow, energy, my friends (aww that's sweet en't it?), Seattle, my iPhone (her name's Mollie), film!, whipped cream, love, books, my brain, laughter, other stuff