(Not in God, don’t worry, it’s not that kind of outpouring.)
I’ve been having one of those days, a bit.
It’s hot, and I’m tired, and wedding planning is stressful. We’re still predominantly kicking ass, and it’s going to be a marvellous day, but sometimes it feels like it might’ve helped to have started working on it a bit sooner. I mean, it’s been over a year and a half since I asked the girl to marry me, why are we leaving virtually all the preparations till the last three months?
(It’s because we’re idiots. But we’re also awesome, and it’s all fine.)
So we do have our bumpy emotional moments, and today, though ultimately productive, has been a bit draining. Also, by a random happenstance of conversational tangent, I just learned earlier that Mog the Forgetful Cat, a barely remembered staple of my childhood, died in 2002. Which made me sad in a way that makes absolutely no sense.
And then later I realised I’d had a song in my head for a little while which my brain probably wanted me to pay attention to. I couldn’t remember what it was or any of the words at first, only that it was rather lovely and a bit sad. After a few minutes of humming it to myself, I figured out that it was The Only Exception by Paramore.
And it felt like time to sit and listen to sad music and have a bit of a cry. Just a bit of one. I don’t think you’re ever of an age or a situation where that’s not allowed sometimes.
It’s a really nice song, although I don’t relate to it to a huge extent. I’ve never been cynical about love, even when I didn’t much fancy my own chances. Nothing about my early experiences soured me to the concept of people caring about each other in a way that can last. And yet there’s not been a single person I’ve ever met, in my life, who I could be doing any of this stuff with, except the one I get to marry. I am very lucky in love.
Today’s been a day of being jabbed “right in the feels”, as the latest generation has rather wonderfully taken to describing things which resonate emotionally in an especially poignant way. I’ve been feeling things more strongly than usual, or at least perceiving my feelings that way. Love is stronger, the very wonder at existence is sharper, the thought of loss is a deeper emptiness, to such an extent that just writing again about some cartoon drawings of a cat who never actually existed is in danger of making me well up again.
It fills me with a need to express it, to get the words out to explain what these feelings are and why they matter, about the importance of compassion in life and the inevitable horror of death. A need which goes far, far beyond my capacity to actually express any such thing, obviously. But there’s so much going on in there.
While I was processing all this earlier, emotionally bubbling over somewhat and having conversations in my head, I asked myself something like: “So, what, do I think that makes me a poet?”
I wasn’t being serious, or I’d have had to tell myself to stop being a twat. Because, as I reminded myself straight away, the answer’s obviously no. Experiencing emotions which are occasionally beyond my power to articulate, and which aren’t very widely or comfortably discussed in public, does not mean that I’m some especially profound soul, who feels things more deeply than everyone else, or lives life more largely than all the numbed sheeple and deadened drones I share the world with. I know better than patronising bollocks like that.
Feeling like this means I’m human. Nothing more, and nothing less.
Now, some people don’t find that the easiest thing to take. Feeling deep, personal emotions is a deeply personal thing, after all. It feels like these moments should be rare and precious experiences, not something millions of people around the world are bound also to be going through at any given instant. I want to be special, dammit, because I’m feeling really hard and the world should appreciate me.
Well, profound and meaningful as it might feel at the time, it’s not as rare as all that. The world’s going through its own shit, at least as intense as this, all over the place, all the time.
As I say, for some this feels like a negative, seems to diminish one’s own importance. I’m not a special and unique snowflake because I feel things this strongly. I’m just a person. A part of me thought I might be more than that, something special.
But I also realised you can look at it the other way.
I’m capable of feeling such powerful things, such passion and desperation and love, of being moved by the sweetness of a song, of pining and longing and missing things I know have never existed, of my own head wanting to explode under the pressure and expanse of all the thoughts and ideas it’s trying to contain…
…and rather than having to be special or amazing or unique, you get all that just from being a person?
Well fuck, there’s billions of those. So, this must be going on everywhere
How much amazing, incredible, mind-blowing, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, unimaginable bursts and explosions of emotion and overwhelm must be punching the world right in its collective feels, every second of every minute of every day?
It’s not a diminishing realisation. It’s unfathomably expanding and awe-inspiring just to attempt to understand how much is being felt, so powerfully, all around us, all the time. How much it means to the people involved, how important it is to them, how much my own pangs of bewilderment and wonder are being replayed on such a colossal, constant scale. Humanity is astounding.
So yeah. That’s the kind of day I’m having.