A couple months ago Maya arrives on the verandah just after I finish Susan Cain’s new book, Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole. She plops herself down in the hammock, I say immediately you definitely belong to the bittersweet club. She smiles feeling seen and honoured for the parts of her witnessed over the past couple years, deep sorrow, a longing for intimate connections, lengthy moments of loneliness and confusion.
On the verandah, under the quarter moon that night we honour our mutual depth of longing and sorrow and confusion and how the whole of that, just that, worthy and enough and human and real.
As we do many nights on the verandah, co DJ tunes, this night we play bittersweet songs like Leonard Cohen’s Anthem, Barrington Levy’s Better than Gold, Nina Simon’s rendition, Suzanne, Indigo Girls’ rendition, Romeo and Juliet, Jah Cure’s Mr. Jailer, Ricky Lee Jones’ Horses, Sinead O’Connor’s I Believe in You, Buju Banton’s Untold Stories…..
The next day Maya says, Check this, Paolo Nutini just released a new album and it’s called ‘Last Night In The Bittersweet’!” That same day we both say we’re getting ‘bittersweet’ tattooed somewhere on our bodies and this we did a month later.
Thank you Susan Cain for this beautiful quote:
“The bittersweet the recognition that light and dark, birth and death- bitter and sweet- are forever paired “Days of honey. Days of onion”, as an Arabic proverb puts it. the tragedy of life is linked inescapably with its splendor; you could tear civilization down and rebuild it from scratch and the same dualities would rise again. Yet to fully inhabit these dualities-the dark as well as the light-is paradoxically the only way.” Susan Cain
And for a full body experience of bittersweet, with headphones on sink into Paolo Nutini’s ‘Everywhere.’