Monday, June 7, 2010

Joy & Sorrow

I've often wondered how, while one day we can have so much joy, why the very next we have deep sorrow. Are the days that different? Have we forgotten the joy and that, in and of itself, makes us sad and depressed?

I've been fortunate enough to have several successful and fulfilling days in a row, both with my writing and in my personal life, but today I struggle. I have no desire to write and I'm on the edge of . . . well . . . everything. One minute I would give anything for some space and a few days somewhere alone on the beach and the next I just want to feel love and peace within my own family. Can we have it both ways? Should we want both solitude and companionship? Peace and chaos? Joy and Sorrow?

While searching for some words of wisdom--anything that would explain my feelings--I found this quote. It makes so much sense to me. What do you think?

* * * * *

Then a woman said, “Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.”
And he answered: 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 hold 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.

- Kahlil Gibran


  1. Wow! I love that quote.

    I can totally relate to what you're saying. But that beautiful quote has left me speechless right now. I need to think about it for a while!

    Thank you for sharing!

  2. What an amazing post! It's so true, we can't know the joy unless we experience the sorrow. Gotta have both in this life to really LIVE life.

    Thanks for your insight!

  3. What a wonderful post! It's so true, you can't experience the highs of this life without the lows. The deeper the sorrow the sweeter joy is.

  4. Good things to think about. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wow, thank you for posting this! It's a lovely read. I, too, am struggling with balance between family and writing. Lately, family is winning and I feel frustrated that my writing has taken the back seat. :(

  6. I loved the line that the deeper our sorrow carves the more capacity we have to feel joy.

    The two are definitely inseparable.



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