Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Heart Attack, Happy Dance, Can't Get This

I had a heart attack today, although not in the usual sense. It would be more accurate to say that I had an attack of the heart. Although not a day goes by in which my heart does not feel under attack from the world at large, so perhaps it would be more accurate to say 'this thing happened'.

Today, this thing happened.

I took a moment to zone out - from the report I was doing, the conversations around me, the various radios fighting for earspace, the office lights - and from nowhere felt sad. Not a wave a sadness, as that implies direction. It was a pulse, from the heart, and it thumped out like blood, just once, and faded away. It blindsided me. I hadn't been coasting near thoughts that made me sad, and I had not spent the day fighting off melancholy, in fact it was quite a cackle filled shift. It was pure sadness too, not tainted with regret, anger, despair or any other sort of emotion so easily confused with it. I sat quietly until it went away.

It's a puzzle, and I've been chewing over it since it happened. Normally I'm quite good at figuring out my own triggers, and why I react to something in any one way, but this sadness had no trigger. It was not a reaction. It shouldn't have been felt, and even as it spread through my limbs a part of me was already analysing and confused. I don't know where it came from, and having decided that I won't ever know that, I've started chasing sillier thoughts, and wonder if maybe some particular combination of lights and sounds or the way my gaze slid across this particular sentence triggered some flex in my brain, or connected the sadness dots, just for one pulse.

If I could find the sounds and movement to spontaneously trigger glee, I would bomb you with it.

Here is a video of people dancing around the world (as filched from boingboing).

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

It is quite unabashedly full of joy, glee, dorkery, and is beautiful. It made me think of my sad pulse. Sadness is a strange emotion, elusive and quiet and rare. It is beautiful, perhaps the calmest of all the negative emotions. Joy and sadness are not so different, methinks. They're as hard to find as each other.

Someone came to this blog using "CAN I GET TESS" in google. The answer is "yes". The next question is "but why would you?"


  1. Yay for Matt!

    He used to be a designer here (where I work). We're all desperately jealous of his new job.

  2. My God you write beautifully Tess.