Sunday, July 1, 2007

From Sadness to Sadism

That which is true to art, can it be as true to life?

A friend had once sent me an angry letter. I had upset her. My primary reaction to the words were equal anger. How could she relate all these horrible things to me? Doesn't she think of me as a human equal in pain? However, as I reread her letter, it surprised me how beautiful her writing was. Her anger was an absolute piece of art!

That started me thinking on how my generation of Saudis are mostly sad. Something had befallen us, here, there, and everywhere; a high level of dissatisfaction. Writers or no writers, we are seeking liberation through the word! But consider this:

If we are too sad about many things, socially, politically, religiously, etc, and find no better way of expressing our sadness other than writing. If that writing is regenerated from previous works of fiction (non-fiction is a bore that we mostly read in school.) So, if our sadness becomes yet another work of art, could it ever be true to life? Our life?

Sadness is a very dangerous state of being, especially if it sweeps over an entire generation:

- A sad person is egoistic; her entire emotions are sensitized, and thus she has no ability to feel what is beyond her suffering.
- A sad person must push back love, or doubt it to the highest of levels because emotional fulfillment is impermissible.
- A sad person is full of blame; the others become the enemy who contributes to her suffering.
- A sad person forms blind truths in her isolation, such as being damned with the worst of fates, and the severest of situations.
- A sad person forms a strong attachment to her state of sadness, to the point where she refuses to let go of it. Eventually, she begins to feed her life with more drama, and to manipulate characters around her in order for them to be relevant to her story line.

Without knowing it, an entire generation competes in a “sadist” performance, hurting itself under the theme of “I am sadder than you, so sit back and watch me prove it!”


Your husband said...

loved it!

It might be a life stage as well. Sadness could be an experiment that people ought to go thorough in order to reach their maturity!

In certain age, we suddenly discover that it’s the time to take care of ourselves emotionally. It seems hard though that we deny it and start to demand others’ care that we used to have. As fewer responses we get as sadder and frustrated we become. Does that explains why people foolishly fall in love in certain ages? Usually (17 – 24)? It’s the sever demand of care after the supply-cut. (Do I sound like an economist now?). I don't believe that people’s tendency to easily fall in love in this age is just because a flood of hormones hit suddenly. Instead, I believe it’s just that others (parents, society, etc) have stopped emotionally protecting us as they think we are too old for such care. The easiest alternative in this case is someone who goes through the same experiment.

Um Naief said...

you husband makes interesting points. i like this blog and this particular post because i've noticed this sadness that you talk about w/ arab women here. not all, but many. i've asked my husband about it and i think he's sorta blinded by it.... but i see it everywhere.

when i went back to the states last year i didn't think about it, but as soon as we landed in bahrain, i noticed it again. i think the black abayas really affect me as well. in the states, black is worn for mourning... to me, it feels as though ppl are in mourning all the time.

boys seems more upbeat and happier, i would say. i think girls get less attention at home, in some homes, which causes them to want to get married earlier which isn't the end all to all end alls. marriages are set up, ppl aren't in love, don't know each other... which causes more sadness.

i could write a lot about this, but it's only an outsider looking in.... i have no real knowledge as to why ppl/girls/women seem depressed....

i think it's sad.

Aysha said...

"My" husband :")
Again and again, you point my thoughts to a direction I could not see before! I immediatly thought of the cries that a baby makes the moment she is born. The cry of birth? That hard and shockingly painful passage from a mother's womb, to a mother's embrace.
(Do I sound like a mother now ;)? )
I admire your ability to utilize all the various sciences while analyzing life, patterns, and human behavior.

Aysha said...

um naief,
I was so happy to see you here!
You speak of a complicated issue. Sweedish in Saudi once mantioned something that is relative to what you're saying.
Gulf countries can be hard to get through to. So I would not take the surface picture as an accurate thermometer of sadness. What is happening is something more than being in Saudi or outside of Saudi, being goverend by strict cultural code or a lenient one...

Hans said...

Hello Aysha,
When I read your description of a sad person and a sad generation, I couldn't help thinking of a narcissistic personality disorder, especially if this sadness never ends, as is the case with many sad persons.
And isn't the 'entire generation' you talk about, influenced by that narcissism?
There seemst to be no cure, if the narcissist doesn't recognize he/she/it is a narcissist.

Aysha said...

Thank you for introducing me to this term. Hning's blog used to mention narcissism a lot, but I never realized the full definition of it, and it is pretty complex!

Um Naief said...

you also make me think of my baby and his birth. altho, it wasn't thru the birth canal, i still worried endlessly about the birth process and the stress on the baby. coming into the world, breathing for the first time... hearing the world around him/her... so much newness.

anway... the baby is awake so i'll make this quick. i also like what hans says... i would have to think/believe that the sadness is a direct reflection of a narcissistic personality/society in a lot of cases, but not all.

Inspire Your Mind said...

Bravo Aysha.. a beautifully written post..
I really enjoyed reading it..
Keep up the good work..
But I truly think Sadness could be a key to a brighter life since it induces a great struggle to overcome it ( we call it sufferings ), after which we become much stronger as persons, taking leads and initiatives to make a greater difference in our lives and in those of others..

Aysha said...

You are describing a very positive approach to life in general, not only sadness. And I guess that is why when you see sadness sweeping over an entire generation, the out come is never going to be the same. Some, which are survivors, will use "the stage" to their advantage, others will become consumed by the stage and used up.

Glad to have you here!