“I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

The last week I have had a feeling of melancholy. Mostly regarding what regrets I have of the past and how much I miss a certain time of my life. A time when my mind was quieter and I was more productive. What the elements of that time is, isn’t really relevant as I am not even sure what it was that made me that way. Was it a person, a group of people or maybe even the environment? Or did it have something to do with my age?

These type of questions can lead to a longing for a place, a period of time or a person, and when that longing becomes almost enjoyable, it evolves into melancholy. You almost wallow in the pain and might really enjoy the feeling of loss. It can be a really comforting feeling and it is as intoxicating as playing the victim might be.

In fact I would say that it has a lot in common with the idea of being a victim and feeling like the world is against you. You know your place in the world then, or you know when the best version of you was. Maybe you feel like recapturing that time, person or group, but you also need to ask you if that is necessary.

Say that you, like me, believe that it is connected to a certain person. How do you know that getting that person back into your life helps you recapturing the person you was back then? Or maybe the person you was then is impossible to recreate? Maybe that person or group of people has evolved beyond the point of helping you? Perhaps they have other priorities in life now that makes it impossible to understand what you are going through?

And what about you? Are you even the same person anymore? Maybe you have become a different beast with ideas that are now counter to what the other people might believe?

I don’t think there are any straight answers to these questions, and I am not suggesting any sort of magical solution that solves any of this. I still think about a period of my time that is almost like a golden age for me, and I can picture the moment when that time was broken, or at least that is what I think.

The human mind is a fickle beast and the memories of a golden past might be tricking you into thinking that they were greater than they were. It can trick you into thinking that a place in the world is the place where you will be happy, but not even that is certain. Everything might actually hinge on you. You might be the solution to your own happiness.

Now I am not saying that times when you were happy, weren’t good times and that you shouldn’t cherish those memories. It would be severely hypocritical of me since I from time to time put on Still Crazy from 1999 and strongly identify with the idea of recapturing lost glory and love.

What I am saying is that those days are over. It is harsh to say it, especially for myself. I still haven’t come to terms with it and I spent years covering up that simple fact and sometimes it feels like I have just woken up from a 10-year long coma and that the feelings are still raw, but I know that it is the past and that it needs to stay there.

Now excuse me while I put on “The Flame Still Burns” and put those memories in a cozy little corner of my mind.


JH Lillevik is a writer of sci-fi and fantasy. He writes screenplays, novels and short stories. He also works as a writing consultant for upcoming writers. His specialty is mythology, world building and psychology.

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