As the years of my life pile up on top of each other I find that some skills I have desired have become mine to wrestle with, while others I perhaps took for granted have become elusive. By means of example; after many years of cooking for my family the simple process of making rice that didn’t burn or stick to itself was beyond me until recently. Skill acquired. What has been missing from my life is a state of lightheartedness. I laugh, but there is very little joy in it. I see humor but, the wild abandon of laughing til my guts ache with tears streaming down my face took a vacation and has yet to return. I hold on to hope, and in that way leave a light on for my mirth to find it’s way home.
Is it just the passing of time that robs us of joy? or is there a choice we make to become so tangled with the serious matters of our adult life that we forget the simple pleasure of laughing for the sake of the joy it brings, risking absurdity, suspending disbelief for a moment to catch our breath. In a meeting yesterday someone commented about somnambulism which brought another woman close to tears with laughter. The general attitude toward this? Impatience. There was no joke, why would sleepwalking be so funny? Instead of enjoying the laughter as an opportunity to lighten the mood most crossed their arms, in the defensive stance of being in the presence of something offensive. How did we get so caught up in our seriousness? To be honest, watching this unfold, I felt a pang for my joy that is still out wandering.
For many years now I have relentlessly kept my true joy at bay, by numbing my pain. Five months after my mom died, around the time of her birthday (the first passing of that date without her life to celebrate) a dam wall broke in my heart. There was nothing outside of being in a coma that could stop me experiencing the full force of the pain that I had been holding at arms length. I was crushed. Overwhelmed. Dumped. Broken yet, inside all that pain, there was a trickle of the laughter that had been mine mingled with the warmth of the loving support of my children and new husband. These things I had held at bay with the same arm and hand that held away the unavoidable pain of being alive.
Today I’m thinking about what it would take to forgive life for being at the same time so impossibly beautiful, and so awesomely painful. How do I find balance between these two extremes, without sacrificing one for fear of the other again???
Please share your thoughts and experience on this subject with me in the comments section below – Thank you –