Chapter 81: Sad songs make me smile

I’ve been rapping for a loooong time, trying to make you guys smile and have a good time. But you guys always smile the biggest when I play the sad shit. What about the sad songs makes you guys so fucking happy?
– Atmosphere, Bonnaroo ’06

Rainy days are invigorating. When the rain is falling outside and the lightning illuminates the clouds outside, just being alive is enough. You don’t need to be accomplishing anything that will eventually change the world. A warm blanket, a cup of tea and closed windows are all you need to feel that you are standing strong against the elements.

You stood here and watched the storm with the greatest pride one can ever feel — because you are able to have summer flowers and half-naked women in your house on a night like this, in demonstration of your victory over that storm. And if it weren’t for you, most of those who are here would be left helpless at the mercy of that wind in the middle of some such plain.
– Francisco d’Anconia, Atlas Shrugged

A sad song is kind of like the rain. It comes and spoils plans, changes outlooks, but it waters the plants. It can cause floods that destroy villages, but without it nothing would be possible.

When you listen to a sad song you’re reminded that not everything always works out in the end. Sometimes the boy doesn’t get the girl. Sometimes there is no 50th wedding anniversary. The good forces of Justice don’t always overcome the evil forces of Reality. So why does that make us happy?

Because suddenly we’re the ones standing in the rainstorm. We look out the window into the song and see pain, sadness and regret, and we recognize it. The man standing in the rain looks at us with longing, and we smile and nod at him because we stood in his place. Maybe ours was a light drizzle compared to his waterfall, but we still understand what it is to be wet.

I hear a sad song and I smile, because sometimes life is like that.

2 Replies to “Chapter 81: Sad songs make me smile”

  1. “I think that, as life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Either you’re content, or you’re not.

  2. Once I saw mountains angry,
    And ranged in battle-front.
    Against them stood a little man;
    Aye, he was no bigger than my finger.
    I laughed, and spoke to one near me,
    “Will he prevail?”
    “Surely,” replied this other;
    “His grandfathers beat them many times.”
    Then did I see much virtue in grandfathers —
    At least, for the little man
    Who stood against the mountains.

    – Stephen Crane, The Black Rider and Other Lines, XXII

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