The Blanket of Blue – lifting the habit of melancholy

There is a boy in blazer out with his grandmother, sister and mum

He looks glum

I wonder if he is being bullied at boarding school

They sit across from us in the same dining room

My mind weaves a story that is all to soon leaving me sad

Then I realise that I’m doing what I so often do

Knitting a blanket in the colour of blue

On the way here we passed a truck full of cows

Her head over the tailgate, soft eyes, long ears

The gentle beast stared into my soul

I presumed her on her way to her death, her flesh sold as meat

Carved and packaged locked beneath plastic, to be consumed by mindless shoppers who choose

Without ever considering those eyes

Looking at you, into you

But then I realised I was at it again

Knitting a blanket of blue

My mind is a melancholy pool

And every scenario develops it’s own hue

Of blue

Before I flip it

Perhaps that cow was on her way to greener pastures, a fresh horizon, perhaps she was even excited

It’s difficult to tell with cows

Perhaps that boy was simply sulking, missing his friends and not enjoying the company of women

Perhaps I can shrug off this blanket

And let the sun warm my shoulders instead

Stories in my head

Are not true

There is no need to be carrying

A blanket of blue

*Anyone elses mind geared towards melancholy? I seem to have always tended to weave the gentle, the sad and the lonely tale when I’m people watching. I pull myself together these days and flip the story when I realise what I’m doing. There is enough true sadness in this world without me making up more fairy tales.

Speaking of fairy tales. I think that is where I began knitting blankets of blue. I loved fairy tales and read so many, but the books of my childhood were Arabian Nights, Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm. They were Rudyard Kipling and The Just So stories. Not a lot of laughter and always a deeper message. Thank goodness for Enid Blyton later on, or I would have been a thoroughly melancholy child indeed!

If this is you too – and you often snuggle down in a blanket of blue, remember the story in our head can always be changed. Watch too, how your mood lifts and swings when you do. It’s quite surprising how often we do this in life, not just with strangers but our own heavy thoughts.

The blanket of blue can be left neatly folded on the couch, it does not need to come out into the world with us.

So why leave it on the chair at all? I have to admit there are times when I thoroughly enjoy pulling it over my head – there is something about melancholy that is also deeply felt, anchoring and calming. Especially in a world that tells us we have to be bright and happy all the time.

Blue blankets are conforting, but not for everyday pondering.

Have a lovely day X

Unsplash: Vitolda Klein

7 thoughts on “The Blanket of Blue – lifting the habit of melancholy

  1. I appreciate what you are saying and agree with you ….. yet there is a big part of me that enjoys melancholic verses and song. Strangely, I do not really enjoy such books and movies though!

    • I think melancholy is underrated Colin. I agree with you, I prefer the thoughtful, pensive poetry and songs . As always there needs to be balance in life, the proliferation of positive psychology these days that tell us it’s a mindset thing and we have to be happy and productive all the time is incorrect. I think there is a natural welling up which occurs in the body and mind that needs time and space to get out, and yet we tamp it down and barrel on with things. I don’t. I like to write from that place and I think it’s a need we all have but don’t always know how to manage because it can feel uncomfortable. It’s like keeping that awareness of death – which sounds macabre to some people. To me it simply sounds like life. Melancholy and happiness are two necessary sides to eunoia – which ad you probably know is a Greek word for a “pure and well balanced mind” a good spirit, beautiful thinking. Like my penchant for being overly enthusiastic and energetic at times (my Tigger gene), I also have to balance that with not being dragged down by empathising with imagined scenarios that are really none of my business (my Eeyore tendency) Christopher Robin and the Hundred Acre Wood was another favourite childhood book obviously 😁

      • Kate, I could not have put it better myself!! And, hey, if someone else is going to espouse your thoughts then who better than a poet such as you! 🙂 As I believe we have said before, it really is a question of balance. I know it sounds trite but I, personally, feel that so true, especially now I am the other side of 50!
        I love the Tigger and Eeyore analogies! It really is a book that I must read again as every time I come across a bit of dialogue from it, I am amazed at how much it resonates! Probably one of the cleverest pieces of writing is one that can be enjoyed through the innocent eyes of a child and the jaded eyes of the … ahem … adult! 😉
        Keep well Kate, keep well! 🙂

  2. Yeah, I don’t get any enjoyment from melancholy anymore. I think menopause changed my attitude towards it. I am, btw, never going to be responsible for death of an animal. I’m going meat, cheese and ice cream free, so almost vegan but not quite.

  3. I loved the metaphor of the blue blanket. Spending too long in any one emotion is probably harmful. I agree I wouldn’t want to stay in a melancholic state forever, but I can see some merit in wrapping myself in the blue blanket at times … for the stillness it can bring … for the space to be, to come to terms with events in our lives. I think it might be our mind ‘s way of looking after ourselves. My problem is others want to intervene.

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