Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gibran, sorrow, and joy

I woke up today thinking about Khalil Gibran. In The Prophet he wrote, “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?”

It’s a concept that I’ve carried with me for years, the concept of having a capacity for feeling that can be filled with sorrow or filled with joy. So maybe the capacity for deep feeling—feeling either sorrow or joy—is indeed a gift. Should I be grateful for such a gift? Even when it seems there's a load of sorrow in my cup?

You know how some people are relatively flat?  They smile occasionally, they may get a little angry or sad, but on a scale of one to ten, they go from zero to two, maybe all the way to three when their mother dies or they win the $250 million lottery. Maybe they were genetically engineered that way, they just got skipped over in the distribution of feeling genes.

Then there are others like me, those who cry when they see a dead cat in the road, those who catch their breath when they see the sun breaking through the mist over the river, those who have to dance when they hear Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie. How many times have I had to remind myself that it’s a gift when I am saddened over something that may not seem to affect others? It’s a gift because it’s the capacity to feel high, content, or madly in love, but the flip side is the capacity to feel hurt, anger, discouragement, or grief.

So now I grieve the senseless murder of my brother. I am saddened to see my dear friend going through grueling cancer treatment. I am concerned about my sister who had difficult surgery last week. I wish I were and I long to be in one of the joyful times. But for me, now is one of those times when the cup holds more sorrow than joy.

"The selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears." Gibran

No comments:

Post a Comment