A Word for the Woebegone

 Now there’s a word, but not the one I’m about to dissect in all its dismal glory, though a sister word meaning…sad.

My friend David will always zero in on one that tends to give me pause. This time it was melancholia. I had used it in an email describing the state I’ve been in. It’s what I can only describe as a low grade sadness that hovers, like a persistent rain cloud.

It’s a word you don’t hear much but come upon in books, making me linger, giving it its due whenever appearing on the page.

Melancholia…noun, a deep heaviness or gloom. A feeling of mournfulness as a result of despair you can’t quite pin down.

An emotion nebulous and vague, fuzzy and formless…murky.

Imagine a face without visible features.

Truman Capote in Breakfast at Tiffany’s called it the mean reds, Winston Churchill, the black dog. It’s hazy and spectral, like a ghost who visits, tipping over all the furniture.

Melancholy is the adjective: crestfallen, doleful, desolate and glum. Depressed, despondent, dejected and just plain, down in the dumps.

An inexplicable strain of hopelessness.

Years ago it was treated like a flu where you’d stay in bed sipping teas and broth. Now of course you take antidepressants and if you’re smart, go talk to somebody.

It’s good to know you don’t have to combat those demons alone anymore, waiting for melancholia to suddenly break, like a fervent fever.

Reminds me of a story:

A man fell into a deep hole calling out for help. A rabbi goes by, looks down and the man cries out, “Rabbi, help me.” So he throws down the Torah, smiles and moves on.

Then a priest appears. “Father, please help me!” the man pleads, who tosses down his Bible before going on his way.  

But then a friend shows up jumping in the hole with him. The guy says, “Dammit Jack, what the hell…now we’re both down here,” and Jack says…

‘Yeah, but I know the way out.”  

I guess my point is…friends, like David, can help lift and shift those melancholy clouds.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Books, Faith, friendship, grace, humanity, Love, words, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to A Word for the Woebegone

  1. I am so sorry you are feeling down and out. I get that occasionally. Not to the point of medication (except with chocolate) but just an undefinable sadness. It usually hovers for a few days to a week or until another emotion pushes it out. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eilene Lyon says:

    Cats… and a big bouquet of bright flowers.💐

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How about starting a new business called Rent-a-Cat?

    I sometimes have a day of melancholy. That’s fine if it takes itself off in a matter of hours. I hope your sunny spirit will soon overcome it.


  4. I’m honored you’d mention me in a post. Melancholia, while a great word, is a terrible country to find yourself in. Hope you can find your way out soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. skinnyuz2b says:

    If NYC doesn’t have rent-a-kitties, then it’s time to scroll through all the cute animal clips. They always bring a smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You have David and I have you, and someone else has me. We share what we know to lift others up as we stroll through this shit show together This was a great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

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