Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Regardless of the Pain, There is Still Joy
Lest you think it is all brow scrunching, hair pulling, and hand wringing here at the Lilypad as I work diligently through my difficulties, I want to be clear that I am ever mindful of the good, the love, the joy, the plenitude, and the moments of Pure Grace in which I am steeped.
I have bad days, hard days, days when my brain feels like pure mush, days during which forming coherent thoughts feels almost physically painful, days when taking a warm bath for its soothing effects is the peak of my "productivity."
But there are far more days when the pain of this hard work is much more subtle, like background noise that is slightly annoying but to which you become accustomed.
And of course, there are days when I feel I have made some amazing progress or breakthrough, though mainly, I am working to accept myself as I am and to not set unrealistic "goals" for this work that is far more precious and precarious than any goal that can be broken into bits on a to-do list.
My main point is that while I work on my brain and its pains, I am also living a beautiful life.
For instance, I have the tiniest, most tender bits of a new novel sitting on my computer's desktop, and I can feel whispers of what is to come with that work. My heart pitter patters at the possibilities.
I spend time, even in this extra crazy busy semester, trolling through iTunes looking for music for my movement class and being inspired by new little bits.
My faith grows and my heart expands even in light of this sometimes-feeling that I am standing at the base of a mountain, whose peak I cannot see.
I learn, day by day, ever deeper what Thomas Merton meant when he said that we are made for Joy, not for Pleasure.
Yes. Joy abides where pleasure fades. Joy remains steadfast, arms akimbo, staring down despair, whereas pleasure tucks his tail and runs the other way.