Pick a mood

Nearly 25 years ago, a friend of mine wrote a lovely essay suggesting that people who wish to be happy are shallow and unimaginative. She stated that happiness sapped the creative potential that motivating emotions (like fear, or anger, say) possessed. To truly experience life, she felt, pick another mood. Be angry. Be frightened. Explore base depression, covet prolonged ennui, woo manic fits.


What conventionally-understood-as-negative mood would you seek out, and why?

33 thoughts on “Pick a mood”

    1. I think I already know the answer, but why?

      What I think I know: if you don’t care, it doesn’t matter, and life is simple and easy to manage, dealing with only the (few) things that you do permit to matter.

      BTW, do you remember this conversation with Lory?

      1. You’re right.

        Wow, that wasn’t so hard.

        Basically though, I feel negative emotions (that was what you specified) aren’t particularly enjoyable nor useful. But hey, that was before I understood lust (discussed below) to be a negative emotion. Even that doesn’t need to be sought out, it’s more like the cat that wont’ stop rubbing at my feet, so much a part of life that it doesn’t stand out.

        I vaguely remember the conversation, but no longer have much use for such ideas in life. I prefer competence to pissing and moaning. It lacks drama but is more satisfying to me.

        1. Well, frankly, I prefer it, myself. The satisfaction of drama comes mostly (these days, for me) in telling stories, not living them. I prefer favorable resolution to glorious battle.

          But we’re old and feeble, and people pretty much expect that of us.

  1. Personally, I would have to say that people who wish happiness already have substantial experience with the negative emotions and wish some peace and time with one or two good emotions.
    Now, to seek contentment is another issue altogether.

    Many people confuse happiness with contentment. Happiness is just as motivating as anger, however contentment is like giving up all hope of anything good or bad.

    In light of this, I choose absolute and pure joy. 😛

      1. I had enough of those.
        I have explored way to many of them.
        Living in a depression for so long leaves none of those “conventionally-understood-as-negative moods” unexplored.

        I have lived in sorrow, anger, guilt, sadness, as well as many other things. I can’t say they were very motivational either. I generally wanted to hide under the bed before I killed myself or someone else.

        now LUST; there is a motivational “conventionally-understood-as-negative mood” hmm… I could explore that on for a LONG time… 😀

  2. Fury. Self-righteous fury.

    Because as embarassing as it is later, and as negative the repercussions, during it, dammit, it just feels so damn good.

    1. When the fury rises behind you, flapping like wings of night, then is all the world made simple and ordered, all creation laid out and you placed over it, menacing and raging.

      Yup, good times, good times.

      1. 78 rapists every hour can’t be wrong, I suppose.


        Oh. You mean the “channeling my fury into a soul-searing fuck that leaves both of us wrung out and dizzy.”

        1. Given the present human population, I’d think 78 rapes per hour would be low.

          Or is that just American / Canadian / North American?

      2. Yes, but that’s a sort of grinning “I’m going to pound your cervix like a goddamn piledriver WHAM WHAM WHAM” sort of fury. 😀

          1. Oh, but it is. 😀

            A hand over a mouth, hair pulling, snarling in their ear, slamming hips together.

            The kind of sex that sounds like a domestic beating, except, um, happy.

          2. *laughs*

            Oh, I know it is fun, and happy, and slightly painful. 😉

            I know that after something like that, poor little fragile me has to rest for about a week before even thinking about sex again… well, 3 days and I’ll start thinking about it, a week before I consider it. 😀

    1. Ugh. That one I have to avoid. I’m prone to it (no cloud is so dark that it hasn’t a blacker side) and fall into an inward spiral if I indulge it.

      1. I’m so much more eloquent when I’m despairing. A former lust interest was so enamored with my dark side that he said it made him nauseous to see me happy. :/

        1. Hrm. I’m more prolific when I’m despairing. For me, it isn’t enough to merely feel the emotion. I have to make sure that everyone in earshot can relate to it and, even if they don’t agree with me, can’t refute the validity of my despondency.

          1. Ah, the sweet lethargy that comes with forced compassion. Tell me all your problems; I’ve been needing rest….

  3. (a little late)


    Because nothing else in the world matters when you’re desperate for something.
    once it passes, everything looks a little better than it did.

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