Opinion: On Melancholy


One of the most influential essays I have read thus far is Edmund Burke's On the Sublime and Beautiful.  It has change my perspective on many things, or perhaps it has encouraged me to look at things through a different tint. Burke argues that pleasure and pain belong firmly in their own corners, so that when one is not in pain, it means not that they are in pleasure.

My thoughts are here because I have been thinking about the beauty of melancholy. I have always felt that there is a beauty to it. Especially when it is within matters of the heart, and there isn't any fear of immediate physical danger.  Melancholy, to me has a lot in common with the sublime. In my mind's eye, melancholy often carries a sense of grandeur: one always make it out to be bigger than oneself——we often describe ourselves as being lost in it; overwhelmed by it; controlled by it; it sweeps us into moans which are pleasing to us in heavy ways. There's always a sense of unclarity like a fog to encourage the moodiness it embraces us in.

When one's sad, it's like little drops of water on the heart, where as when one is happy, it feels like little drops of sunshine on that same imaginary heart. Hence happiness is weightless and melancholy heavy. Hence one feels as though happiness is instant, no matter how long one is immersed in its airiness; where as every second of melancholy feels wet.  And yet, it is often melancholy which reveals ourselves to us. And it is often our ability to feel this sublimeness within us which motivates our humanity.

Happy Monday,


  1. Yes! I think you've described how we are when we're experiencing melancholy so perfectly. I used to wrestle with my melancholy because happiness is positioned as the supreme emotion but I've learned to respect my melancholy and accept it as part of my demeanor.
    The point you make about happiness being weightless and melancholy being heavy is so true and I've never considered it... I think this is why people are so obsessed with being happy because it doesn't leave the same mark as melancholy.

    1. Thank you, Nina! You know what will be cool, if you would guest write an Opinion one of this Mondays...that will be awesome...and if you would let me feature you, that will be super, super awesome...

    2. :D Wow! I almost replied that I wasn't doing enough in life to be featured but that's unhealthy view of myself that I need to rid. I will have to think of something to share my opinion on for your Monday posting...hmmm. Any suggestions?
      You can email at the address that shows up with this comment.


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