Thursday, June 25, 2009

The definition of the word

For years I have been contemplating, ever-so-subconsciously, the meaning behind the word melancholy, which has been at turns a true friend and an annoying and constant companion, as well as an overused cliche in recent months (or years)...

But the current hypnotist that I am engaged with, Roberto Bolano, has convinced me to revisit my previous attractions to said word and state. The book of his I am currently reading, By Night In Chile, is not only an engrossing and oddly fluid read, but it is packed with brilliant contemplations without seeming like a fowl-stuffed-with-too-much-sauce-and-other-mini-fowls one would find being served at a nervous man's thanksgiving.

In other words, it is ripe with wisdom but offers a somewhat miraculous space in which to breath in. And it is within these open spaces one finds Bolano offering us definitions like the one Friedrich Schelling had of melancholia, that of yearning for the infinite...

From such a perspective, I remember clearly now, a smell from childhood rushing past my nostrils on the crowded end-of-day bus, why melancholy meant so much to me at a certain point, and why it underpins but doesn't overwhelm the lives of so many people I know.

To yearn for the infinte is to feel your cells breathing and the desire to live through their inhales and exhales.

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