Don’t worry, I’m not turning Fried’s Blog into a literature class examining the work of Andrew Solomon.
However I will devote one more blog post to examining the opening line of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, which reads “Depression is the flaw in love.” In addition to his own lifetime of sufferings, Solomon researched for more than five years, traveled around the world, spoke with thousands of people and experts, and ended up with over four-hundred finished pages, and God knows how many notes left on the cutting room floor, developing his Atlas. To begin it all with such a simple, yet powerful statement was no accident.
How can one possibly summarize the concept of depression, a condition which has affected humans (and perhaps animals) for thousands of years into one short sentence? Except, he has done just that quite well.
Why can we write new songs every day about love? Why can we write new poems every day about despair?
Like love, depression is a part of all of us. It is critical to keep this in mind – especially if you are, or ever have been depressed.
It isn’t a good place to be, but you are not alone, and you can find your way out. There are factors that contribute to your depression that are well beyond your control; they are part of the human condition. Such as loneliness. We all experience loneliness. It cannot be avoided.
If there is a flaw in love, it is that there is no such thing as perfect love. With all love comes despair, fear, and heartbreak.
Perhaps those of us who have sunk into depression might see love more clearly when we come out.