I'm longing for balance in my life, between work and play, book and blog, drums and laundry, sleep and wakefulness ... but I envisioned this balance as a stagnant thing, like evenly weighed scales.
Life is about moving, and now I realize balance is a verb, a see-saw in constant motion, each end loaded with what we should aim for, never letting one end remain up or down too long.
Or like a swing, going up and up and up, that has to travel an equal distance in the other direction (but then is guaranteed to move forward again.)
How did I miss this? We've been given plenty of examples of Balance: sun and rain, hot and cold, happiness and anger, health and sickness, joy and sorrow.
We don't want too much of either one, even of sunshine or joy or health, because how can you recognize and appreciate joy without experiencing sorrow?
I want to be knocked over by joy...
...but that means I have to accept sorrow.
I'd rather open my heart to joy and experience it full strength...
...even though I know sorrow is waiting for another turn...
I'd rather risk an unbalanced life, too much of one or another and the stress that comes along with it, than live in a stagnant gray unmoving twilight.
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 holds 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.
~Joy and Sorrow, by Khalil Gibran
This is my entry to Jillsy Girl's One Word Wednesday Challenge. Hop over to her site to see the other entries.