Melancholia: It’s Not The End Of The World…Is It?

About a month ago I watched the 2011 film, Melancholia, starring Kirsten Dunst.  One of the reasons for picking this particular film was its inclusion of Kiefer Sutherland, whom I’ve been missing since Jack Bauer disappeared from our screens. 

I didn’t really know what to expect from this movie, although I was aware it wasn’t going to be a particularly happy film.

The film is told in two parts from the point of view of two sisters, with the impending stray planet Melancholia on a potential collision course with Earth.  The first part tells Justine’s story; she is severely depressed, to the point of being unable to enjoy her wedding day, an expensive, glamourous party thrown by her brother-in-law, John (played by Kiefer) and held at his mansion.  While Justine gets more and more depressed as the evening’s festivities continue into the night, her behaviour becomes more erratic, taking a bath during the reception and having sex with a stranger on the lawn.  Although she seems unable to cope with her familial relationships and with that of her new husband, Michael, who finally leaves her the following morning, she is unphased by the possible planetary crisis. 

Part two tells the story of Justine’s sister, Claire, who is trying to cope with her sister’s depression as she comes to  live with them after the wedding.  Claire, who appears to be happily married with husband, John and son, Leo, becomes obsessed with fear over the potential end of the earth. 

“Cheer up, love, it’s not the end of the world.”  How many times do people tell us that in life?   Right now I am having a down day, I felt it coming on last night, possibly something to do with the cloud that’s been over Lincoln the last two days, while the rest of the country seems to have been bathed in glorious sunshine.  There’s not really any particular thing that has got me down, just life.  There’s no foreshadowing of doom, no catastrophe due to eliminate the earth (if you ignore the Mayan calendar).  So should I be enjoying my life?  Yes, I should.  But sadly, when you suffer from depression, it takes you up and down and some days, like Justine, I am incapable of doing anything – getting showered and dressed, eating properly.  At this moment in time, 13:27, I am still in my PJs, laid on the sofa, tears in my eyes.  My food intake so far today has consisted of three quarters of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, half a glass of Diet Coke and a coffee.  I couldn’t even drag myself down to Starbucks to partake of their offer of a free tall latte. 

Melancholia examines melancholia as a disease; the first definition I find is “a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity”.  If that doesn’t describe the way I feel right now nothing does.  I am aware that I haven’t written a blog post since 26 February, and that post was entitled “Four Days!  I Lost Four Days!!!” after not writing in my blog for four days.  The truth is, I’ve tried a few times to write, but melancholia has taken over.  My newborn nephew, Jamie, who arrived two weeks ago today, is waiting for me to write a blog about him (as are his proud mummy and daddy, Emma and my brother Baz).  But that “pessimistic sense of inadequacy” just won’t let me. 

Anyway, I’m writing this blog in a bid to keep writing.  I want to be a writer.  But how can I do that when I can’t even write?  How can I hope to write a  book when I can’t even write a blog?

After I post this (and I WILL post this) I’m going to grab a shower, put some make up on and do my hair, get dressed and then head to the hospital to see Jamie.  Maybe tomorrow will be a better day. 

I think I know where today’s slump came from, the straw that broke the camel’s back.  The news that another swan has suffered in Lincoln, being lured with bread before being beaten with a stick full of nails and thrown into a van.  After my previous post, The Dead Swan, you can see how this might have upset me.  True, it’s not the end of the world.  Or, to quote another old cliche, a matter of life or death (not for me at least).  But when you’re on the path to another melancholic episode, anything can tip you over into a full bore slump. 

To show your support for the swans of Lincoln, please like my new Facebook page,  As for me, I’ll be ok.  Eventually.  One day I won’t be a planet called Melancholia.  One day, I’ll be more of a Venus ❤



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Rob
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 19:20:57

    Keep writing. You’re good at it. Don’t get discouraged. I understand the feelings of inadequacy. Believe me. But don’t give up.

    And killing swans is just plain fucked up.


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