My joy is tinged with sorrow.
It never seems pure or complete.
In fact, the interesting, the funny, the beautiful, the mundane – all the stuff that life is made up of is incomplete. I feel it is not for me to experience joy in all its fullness. It just doesn’t fit me anymore. For now, I accept that this is how it is. It’s normal. It’s OK. I am not missing out on anything. I don’t want it to be any other way. No one can say how it ‘should’ be. It is what it is. No adjectives. For now, this feels right.
As I rode my bicycle today, I thought about the wheels rotating just like the earth, metaphorically speaking. While the earth has a fixed orbit, the cycle has a random start point and an equally bizarre finish. How does this place work? How do we come to live in the houses that we live in? How do we pick our friends or our jobs or our hobbies – randomly or through a predetermined trajectory? In another 100 days it will be 1 year! Does the earth know that, as it rotates endlessly, pointlessly and meaninglessly?
Some writings are such that every time I read them, something fresh emerges. I have been reading this particular text regularly for the last 25 years and yet it seems as if it’s new. “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran.
“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
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?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
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”.