11 January 2006

The Year of Joy


The deeper that sorrow carves into your being
the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine
the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
~ Kahlil Gibran


For the past several years, it has become my habit to name the year when I begin a new spiritual journal ~ either with a virtue I wish to acquire or how I hope the year will unfold. 2000 was the Year of Grace…and so it was. 2004 was the Year of Hope…and so it was. This is not to say that I did not experience sadness, despair or intense suffering during that time ~ no year is without suffering and drama. Quite honestly, I think it would be boring if it were otherwise.

Each year brings with it new opportunities and moments for thanksgiving and creativity and yes, joy amidst deep pain. I believe it was Lord Byron who said that “a man can see further through a tear than a telescope.” I know that is true. Some of my best writing and composing has been born in times of great suffering. Perhaps it is because at that moment, you are defenseless and vulnerable. And vulnerability is a great Muse.

This means however, that one cannot simply endure the pain nor wallow in it for it’s own sake. Either falls short of the mark and does not stroke creativity. Rather, we should strive to embrace suffering through love ~ thus giving it meaning and taking away a good portion of the sting. And that means acquiring a good amount of joy in your life. Joy has nothing to do with monetary wealth or material possessions. You have joy if you can take pleasure in the small gifts that life is always dropping along the path: a moment shared with close friends; laughing until your sides hurt; freshly cut grass; the sound of cows mooing in the distance; the call of a whippoorwill; children’s voices; a Pre-Raphaelite painting; crème brulee (you know food was going to be in there somewhere!). The list could go on and each of us has a different one.

I have great hopes and dreams for this year ~ especially in terms of my family and friends (spending more time with them), my vocation (“I’m waiting!!”*) and my gifts (going back into the studio and finally getting published!)

This is the Year of Joy. I pray that it is joy-filled for you as well. Tomorrow I really will tell you about Seven. ;o)

*It is inconceivable if you did not get this quote!*

Oremus pro invicem,
Mikaela
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