“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” Kahlil Gibran
This struck me as both true and not, for aren’t children the most joyful? Generally they have not known sorrow, being spared yet from having had gulches of pain furrowed out. But the sands of time slowly erode the innocence of childhood, the protective veil is lifted, as is a bride’s by her father on her wedding day, and replaced with the sometimes bitter realities of adult life. Our days accumulate, and the luckiest of us draw a balanced hand of wins and losses, our suffering never adding up to more than our joys. Could it be that there’s a reason why tears of joy don’t trickle down the cheeks of the young? Why only adults can cry a river of happiness? Having had no ravines to fill, there are no tears of joy in the eyes of the young?
As I think about my own life and reflect on both the darkness and lightness of my days, I believe that it is only because I have felt pain that I can appreciate the absence of it. It is only because I have been without, that having is so much sweeter. It is only because I have lost, that winning is so gratifying. It is only because I have walked away with nothing and recovered, that I can truly see the difference between what I desire, and what I need. To have no gulches of sorrow may seem desirable, but then where is the joy to settle? There is no receptacle, only a run-off, and an eternal chase, as the rivers of joy rush on, leaving only a disconcerting shiver of dampness on our skin, never to settle, scarcely smoothing the calloused feet of the searcher.
But what of those whose lives seem riddled with the buckshot of anguish and travail? Have they simply not opened their eyes to welcome in the joys that surround and abound? Does joy have to be welcomed? I’m going to step up and say not only does it have to be welcomed, but it has to be seized quickly, for like the tide, it either envelopes you and takes you with it, or you are left behind because you were so solidly stuck in the sands of your misery. We can allow the corners of our mouth to curl up or down, choose to be enveloped by the joy or not. The antithesis of each is always ours to choose.
Peace and Love