A Note From A Friend
It is in a desolated state of mind that I’m penning this note. Does it happen to you too, my dear friend? Do you share the same feeling that there is nothing in this uncaring and often unloving world worth celebrating? For more than two decades of my existence, I’ve been receiving the same wishes—of “Happy New Year” or “Happy…Something” in a similar fashion—from different people in different places; yet the ‘disappointment’ has been all the same: it often ends up being neither “Happy” nor “New”.
My dear, in your latest letter, you—convincingly?—stated that such occasions provide us with an invaluable opportunity for self-assessment; that the occasion should allow us to evaluate our successes and failures; a self-evaluation, that is. Though I agree on the undeniable importance of reflecting on one’s achievements and failures, I’m skeptical that only on the New Day such an evaluation could be done in the guise of celebration. Tell me then; how is a soul whose very existence has been an accumulation of intermittent failures to celebrate—a soul whose only achievement is to have aged one more year, thus drawing a step closer to the grave? To Paul ELUARD, celebration is nothing more than “celle qui veut faire croire aux hommes “qu’il y a quelque chose DE MIEUX sur la terre”. More precisely, like him, “Je hais toutes les fêtes parce qu’elles m’ont obligé à sourire sans conviction, à rire [sans raison], comme un singe…”
I am, therefore, of the opinion that generalized celebrations of any kind—religious or traditional—are only pleasurable in young age—that is, when life is innocent—and therefore ought to be left to kids…
I know this to be a “fact” no less because I myself used to look-forward up to various feast-days for celebration, with an innocent joy, with an unfailing determination. Back then, life was yet to reveal its real beastly claws; and I used to be flattered by the aforementioned wishes, the audacious hope that the New Year would be different, better than the one that just ended. Yet a long-lived lady of high social class with a fine education and right upbringing tells us: “hope is a tease designed to prevent us from accepting reality.” My dear friend, could you disagree with such a wise assessment of life?
I also feel that you would agree with none of these words. Oh, I can even see you reddening as you read through this letter. Do write me back and let me know what you think. Maybe, just maybe, you may convince me on the matter. And please, tell me how you have been celebrating the New Year, if at all… Here, despite the bitter cold, the city is vividly animated, colorful with decorations, etc., etc.
Your honest misanthrope,
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