Accidental Icon Wears Stutterheim: Embracing Melancholy and Accepting Rainy Days
December and the beginning of January was somewhat of a euphoric period for me. Many mentions on blogs (thanks to all), being named on top instagram account lists, photo shoots and some fun collaborations. There were many visitors to the blog, lots of buzz and attention. Although we are only a week in, February has seemed to flat line and as I sit down to write this week, I feel rather melancholic and a tiny bit derailed. This feeling is intensified by the grey, rainy and icy days we have been having and my Stutterheim raincoat came to mind. The brand has the tagline, "Swedish Melancholy At Its Driest" and so signifies my mood. The designer, Alexander Stutterheim, is of the belief that if we try to get rid of melancholy we will be left with a sort of half-life because unless we can embrace melancholy we cannot embrace joy. Stutterheim suggests, "Let's start by embracing rain".
Stutterheim, interestingly a former social worker, tells us that we must be sure to make the distinction between melancholy and depression. Although both involve states of sadness, depression results in lethargy, lack of feeling and a resigned response. Depression is most times pessimistic and painful. Melancholy on the other hand is more of a state of reflection where we think about what we love and long for and such reminiscing can bring us happiness and pleasure. Yet melancholy makes us uneasy with what is longed for or lost because we can also feel lonely, sad or fearful because we are desiring. Both conditions can lead to unease about what is happening in the world but in the instance of melancholia, results in a desire or longing to create new ways of being or something new. In melancholia we become creatively empowered by negative emotions rather than consumed and immobilized by them. This is how melancholia is related to creativity.
So I will put on my Stutterheim, feel the feelings of sadness and longing that come from my desires, smile at the rain and see what comes next.
Visit again Wednesday for outfit details and on Friday to find out more about Alexander Stutterheim and how he began his brand.
Do you have a piece of clothing that reminds you to "smile in the rain?"