Brain Food #372
Daily Brain Food.
Thoughts of the day
Today is Blue Monday, allegedly the saddest day of the year.
Blue Monday is, in fact, a piece of genius advertising, a term coined by a British travel agency, that wanted to nudge aspiring travelers to book a holiday somewhere sunnier, happier, more fulfilling.
Perhaps the reason why it still exists in popular culture is that it gives the right, especially in today’s persistent pursuit of happiness, to feel a little low. Or maybe it has an underlying positive message; things can only get better.
Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation and pioneer of confessional writing, recently passed away, leaving as her legacy her raw account of her personal struggles.
A friend asked me to feature her on Brain Food, and this felt like the right moment:
“The measure of our mindfulness, the touchstone for sanity in this society, is our level of productivity, our attention to responsibility, our ability to plain and simple hold down a job. If you're still at the point when you're even just barely going through the motions--showing up at work, paying the bills--you are still okay or okay enough. A desire not to acknowledge sadness in ourselves or those close to us--better known these days as denial, is such a strong urge that plenty of people prefer to think that until you are actually flying out of a window, you don't have a problem.”
Van Gogh always used contrasting colours in his work, infusing even the brightest of paintings with a tint of darkness, like in Still Life with Basket of Apples, where the luminous gold of the fruit is juxtaposed by shades of blue.