If you know you’re having a bad week, there’s no use telling yourself how there used to be better times, how you did things differently a while back, how you will never tolerate in future the things you’re tolerating now.
No. Educating yourself can only go so far. There inevitably comes a time when you hate the teacher – and now you know where self-loathing comes from when you’re going through a rough patch.
No, sir, you need to give in. Didn’t Amir Khusrau say, that to get across a river, you need to first let yourself drown?
Don’t cry over how tasteless the toast is three days in, eat it.
Don’t bang your head on the steering wheel when there’s a traffic jam, like every other day, and when the truck driver next to you is rather too ecstatic to see a “ladies” driver, like every other day. No. Put on some folksy tracks. Bring out your inner blue from the greyish violet blister of a soul you’ve acquired. Preferably choose a song that is repetitive, so that they echo the tempo of your days.
“Come Here” by Kath Bloom, perhaps?
(Think “Before Sunrise”, think “the poetry of day-to-day life”.)
Sometimes we make a mistake in telling people how exactly we found our way to the places where we find solace.
The song that has been in my head this week is Joan Baez’s “Farewell Angelina”. It has verse after verse of the same melody, which is effective when it comes to it being stuck in my head, because when a song is stuck in your head, it’s hardly ever the entire song but a stanza or the refrain that stays. But to have a verse of “Farewell Angelina” stuck in my head is to have the entire song stuck in my head. And I am not complaining. Joan Baez is my favourite singer of all time.
Yes, that brings me to my next point.
Do ramble. Rant. Drone on about how, while looking for a tie, all of your clothes decided to shed from the hangars, and you had to clean up a very unnecessary mess. Talk about how you came into work with last night’s ponytail still fastened. Talk about how your lab partner wouldn’t stop talking about his ex-girlfriend’s party photos.
You don’t know how you’ll find a solution to the blues. It might come from a co-worker quoting a romantic comedy to help you. It might come from a friend saying “Get the hell out of your head”. It might come when you take a break alone and you see rainclouds.
And that would bring me to my final point.
Don’t be afraid to be alone when you’re stressed. Write hate mail in your head. Write love letters in your head. Make travel plans for when this all ends. Trust me, your playlist waits for moments like these.
— Madhura Banerjee
art by abbasspace