Solace lost


Solace lost



Singing in the rain, walking on sunshine, crying rivers… A lot seems to come out of representations of our mood through natural allegories and imagery. In the past decades, studies have correlated our good moods and increased stamina to some extent with pleasant weather: goomy skies covering expected rays of the sun that could generally alter our cognition for the best. We must always look for the limiting factors of such studies of course, but memory, mood, and energy levels are seen to increase with time spent in more bountiful outdoors landscapes. Conversely, terrible conditions can depreciate our mood and plunge us into aimlessness. However, this sole concern for the weather does not seem to stretch out far enough to encompass recent occurrences of a different type of depression. There have been for some time now inquiries into the feeling of depression related to lifestyle in a world of potentially decaying natural features and increasing natural variances and disaster-like events (droughts, heavy rains, etc.). There is now a term coined for this specific state of mind: solastalgia. According to the owner of the neologism, Glenn Albrecht, solastalgia ‘’is the pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault (physical desolation) […]. It is the ‘lived experience’ of the loss of the present as manifest in a feeling of dislocation; of being undermined by forces that destroy the potential for solace to be derived from the present’’. The implications of this concept are far reaching, from clinical prognosis to social adaptations. It is not the name of a debilitating process which will warrant you an extension for your next essay, but still worth thinking about. The wanton subjection of our mind to issues of environmentalism complex beyond comprehension seems unwarranted. When even the so-called experts start losing hairs over definitions and phrasing, the uprooting of an environmental debate into the realm of ideas can no longer help sustain our hope in the future stability of our species on this planet. With a minority of public coverage awarded to the practical and grassroots initiatives which actually touch the ground, no wonder our heads get clouded in the stratosphere of opinions.


Green to white to billowy blight

The sweet succor of sunlight

Often sheds its daylight

Into sheets, pouring in sight


In walking through a desolate Yard

The clouds and cold often ward

The high-spirited wits of haggard

Students, whose life is hard


Weather depression they may say

Barometric pressure, temperature … nay

It is but a desolation of the senses

A distress which soon condenses


As we move through binaries

Of natural scenes, of proxies

Switching from cold to hot

And from bright to not


Is induced in our heart the dismay

Of a world in changing, come what may

As the mutable traveler suffers: nostalgia

So does the modern mammal: solastalgia


Ana Luiza Nicolae ’22 ( writes arts for the Indy.