I bought this book back in the summer for me and for lily. It’s been stuffed in amongst her masses of books since. It was her choice of bedtime reads a couple of nights ago. We snuggled up, she read it, we looked at the pictures and questioned them. It’s about a man who feels sad. It’s about how sadness can make him act. It’s about the other feelings that can come alongside sadness and the ways he tries to help himself through it.
I asked her if she felt at all like the author suggests he does. She responded without actually answering, and instead expressed that she thinks I do.
She is right. I have an understanding of it. That’s neither a good or bad thing in my mind, but it does send me into thought about how she can relate to ‘michael’ being me.
It makes me worry that I show it too much. It makes me wonder if she feels she cannot be sad because I am. It makes me doubt the way I handle, or don’t handle, my emotions. Maybe she feels she needs to be strong for me? Maybe she feels that she doesn’t want to be sad like me? Maybe she just doesn’t feel sad and can’t understand why I am?
Part of me knows I should make more time to prompt her to talk about how she feels. Instead of waiting for her to come to me. Another warns me to just let it lie, particularly while she seems to be getting on. Do I dare disrupt that? Or does she want me to? Does she need for me to make that move?
I hope she feels she could come to me. I hope that she feels she could turn to someone. Because loneliness can play a part in how sadness might control us.
I don’t like the thought of her feeling like michael does in this book, because sometimes it feels absolutely dreadful. We don’t want that for our children, do we? Maybe, that’s why I don’t question her so much. The fear of that. But, if she did I would want her to know that it’s okay to. And I’d want her to know that I was there if she needed.
I suppose sadness is considered to be something negative. Something that hurts us. Something that could potentially eat us whole. But I also see it as a way of letting go. A means of facing the harshness of life and then getting back to it. And that, I hope I am portraying to her. Just by being. I cannot turn it off. It lifts when it is ready; when I am ready. It comes back without me asking it to and quite often when I don’t want it to. But it lifts.
It would be worse not to show it at all. It would be worse not to talk about it at all.
I love this picture. The light that he looks towards. The darkness behind him. Always there, lurking. Always hovering around you. Both working together, feeding from one another, at times one more powerful than the other. The sun breaking through the cloud, the fire sizzling out.