In which I potentially overanalyze a word I like

Solace is an odd concept.  It’s the idea that you survive something bad and learn how to live with the leftover pieces.  But it’s hard to tell if finding solace is something that actually makes you feel better or just a word we use to describe pain that has become such a part of us that we no longer notice it.

In Melina Marchetta’s novel Jellicoe Road, a book about forgiveness and the nature of identity that everyone should have to read, she writes, “I think back to my dream of the boy, because in it I find solace…There is just something about that boy that makes me feel like I belong. Belong. Long to be. Weird word, but semantics aside, it is up there with solace.”

I really like this connection: solace is calm in the knowledge that we belong.  It’s why the word is often associated not with just any sadness, but with death.  We want to know that the person who’s gone, and in turn ourselves, still exist after we die, and more importantly that we belong somewhere.  That we aren’t just the byproduct of a universe that does not care to be noticed.

If we
Long to be
Let’s find out where and why
It might take time
But if time is money there’s a lot I’d like to buy.

We’ll make friends with the midnight sun
On the road to our long to be
And find that our insides
Aren’t quite what we expected to see.

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