Trying to write today, about the relationship of grief and joy (like two sides of a coin), about true celebration. I find this quote and realize I won't have room to include it. But I want to draw it out from the piles and piles of notes, keep it, meditate on it, ask You about it...

The experience of joy is so incredibly rare…because it entails a constant giving up in order to even recognize the territory. We prefer to return to those states of seminumbness with which we are more familiar…. The rare appearance of joy… is so painfully exquisite that we may actually experience joy as a moment of terror. It opens to us all our possibilities and yet casts a shadow of comparison across all our other moments. Joy brings an intimation of death and mortality. This joy will pass as all others have before them. Laughter catches in our throat because we refuse to accept the corollary of joy, the soul-enriching poignancy of loss.

I think I understand now why joy has so often eluded me. Ah, that You would give me courage to face the griefs, that I might embrace more fully the joys.

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Blogger e.o.w. said...

It's incredible, to realize the two exist together... I've been noticing how, with my anxiety I can feel calm. Both, at the same time. It's incredible to me.

And Joy. The pain of it, the exposure, the beauty. I was reading an interview with Terry Tempest Williams recently where she speaks of beauty as the beginning of terror, as that edge, that fine line between living and dying... the borders dissolving...the erotic.

Thank you for this post. Your words guide through, pushing (gently) open.

Blogger nannykim said...

That does touch some on what joy means, doesn't it?

Joy is such a deep thing. It seems to me that it is one of those things that touches the face of God--It seems that when we are filled with joy we are truly close to knowing His presence, His reality, His love, His Being.

Joy seems like a reflection of our communion with HIM. A fullness...and an ability to see the beauty in what surrounds us.....and it transforms the suffering times.....it is as if we look at them through the eyes of God.

Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I remember a moment almost a year ago, when I experienced a rare moment of unadulterated joy. I was out running, rehearsing my thoughts for an upcoming speaking event, listening to praise music, with the warmth of the sun encompassing my frame. As I rounded the corner for home, I had a moment of utter and complete peace...a moment of knowing the "everything was exactly as it should be." I'm not sure I've ever known such a moment. I just threw my head back, laughed outloud and shouted my "yes" back to God.

That moment carried me through the weekend, a time that will forever be chronicled as one of the moments of profound clarity in my heart and life. Too me, it was pure joy.

It didn't last, but I tasted it in full measure. It was a scary wonderful all wrapped up in a package called peace.

I've been looking for another ever since.

Loved this quote so much.


Blogger Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

A provactive thought this, one that strikes me.
Do we quest for joy, hunger and thirst for it... yet once we taste it, it terrifies? Because, in stark contrast, other moments pale.
Does this mean we can only know joy once we learn how to lament?

These are things I am writing about, trying to untangle... I will think on this long...

As always, thank you, Laura...


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