On Joy and Sorrow and Christmas Wishes

Margaret Mair, Nature's Cathedral, Original Art

Margaret Mair, Nature’s Cathedral, Original Art

I know what I want for Christmas. I want Love. Because with Love, Peace and Joy are possible, Respect is always there, and Sorrow becomes more bearable.

No matter what the season joy and sorrow entwine, intermingle. We find that the higher the one, the deeper the other. It’s only in times of contemplation that we look back and, weighing them, find they both have their place in our lives.

Joy comes from rising above sorrow; sorrow from losing that which has given you joy.

“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.”

So wrote Khalil Gibran in Joy and Sorrow.

As I write many of us are consumed by sorrow at the deaths of the young children in Newtown. Deaths that came before they had time to experience their full share of life, of joys and sorrows. And we hurt for the adults who died with them, and for the families and friends left behind.

Faced with such sadness, how do we find our way back to joy and not wonder at ourselves for feeling happiness again? And yet we cannot live always in sorrow – we are creatures of hope, looking forward to better things and trying to find our way to them.

Perhaps the greatest joy will come in finding ways to make this world one in which such heartrending things will not happen so easily. In contemplation we may look at the path that took us here; with thought we may learn from all that happened along the way; with hope we may find a new way forward.

I am hoping. And wishing hope and love for you.

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4 responses to “On Joy and Sorrow and Christmas Wishes

  1. ah, Margaret, lovely to have all the emotions included. it always seems so false to highlight the bright ones and exclude the ones that are darker…
    years ago, with a man to whom i was once married, i inaugurated L-MAS: a remade holiday that was all about LOVE (it was not coincidental that both our names began with L). it seemed to me that the stress of CONSUMING, the buying, the debting, the rampant sugar highs, the miles of wrapping paper, all OBSCURED whatever the holiday might once have been about. L-MAS was my some attempt to reclaim something worthwhile.
    and
    i join you in hoping we find a new way forward. whatever that looks like, kind contact between us humans must be at its center.
    xo
    lori B

    • I love the idea behind L-Mas, LoriB, and I think that the more there are that reach out with hope and love, the more chance there is of finding that new way forward.

  2. Here’s a quote from Middlemarch by George Eliot:
    “But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive, for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts, and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life and rest in unvisited tombs.”

    The unknown behaviors such as L-Mas, and such as your blogs Margaret – each individual who strives to leave the world with greater good adds to the energy for positive change.
    Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

    • And you for yours, Sarah. You too do much quiet, thoughtful work that diffuses through the world around you.

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