Friday, September 15, 2017

Suffering and Joy

The combination of suffering and joy in this world intrigues me. Is it about experiencing one and not the other? Is it about avoiding one and striving toward the other? Or is it about figuring out how to survive—or perhaps, thrive—when suffering and joy coexist? Riding the tangent line between the two is exhausting.

I wonder about all these feelings and what to do with them. I can choose to feel nothing in a bubble of emptiness, or feel overwhelmed by everything. But if I place this suffering on a spectrum instead, where it is simply one of the emotions from the abundant well of my heart, it can be contained into a manageable space, which affects me only as long as I allow it.

Suffering and joy are birthed from the same source—my heart. Wouldn’t I rather feel something, even if it IS suffering, than nothing at all? Only then can I have the capacity to feel joy, too.

In this painting, I imagine a full moon hidden behind the dark clouds, its pure white circle framed by the rich blackness of the sky. Its beauty is in the contrast. Black—the suffering, and white—the joy, seem opposite, the two sides of a fence. But they are only the endpoints of an infinite spectrum of colors. Those colors represent the infinite perspectives of love.

When the ends—the black and the white—turn and reach toward each other instead of away from each other, they intertwine, united, blending all their energy, ideas, and broken pieces into a braid which strengthens the colors and protects them.

Instead of opposition, perhaps the contrast of black and white is the only way to reveal themselves in all their fullness. The brilliance is in the contrast, not the separation.

When black and white; suffering and joy, merge, united, the promises encased in the pink and purple and blue and green blossoms emerge into new life.

From the black and white, united, the colors are born again.


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