A tangle of intractable complications and sadnesses has me in its web. I think I am being tremendously stoical and putting on a good front, because I believe in stoicism and good fronts. In the end, I stand in the green field and tell a friend. She listens for a long time and then smiles kindly and says: ‘I had guessed.’ That good front, I think, needs work.
The friend is wise and true. She is a brilliant person for sorrows because she does not put on the pity face, or do the special voice, or tell me to butch up, or offer solutions. She just lets me get it all off my chest and then says something sage and then says something that makes me laugh. I feel profoundly soothed.
The tangle will get tighter and sadder over the next few days and then will loosen, a little. It is not made up of single spies, but of battalions. I stare very hard at the things of beauty in my daily life; the dancing dogs, the dear mares, the kind friends, the tall trees, the words written on the page. I squint beadily for silver linings, and there aren’t many, just now.
I always feel affronted by the bracing people who tell one to cheer up. There are things in life about which it is correct to be sad. One is not carved of pitiless marble. I hate dwelling and self-indulgence; I try not to wallow. But sometimes sad things happen and they make the heart ache and there is absolutely no point in pretending that they do not.