I admit it: I get blue. A few of my friends who’ve gotten emails from me this week can testify.
But then, this happens: Yet another problem with the build of Angel’s Haven asserts itself into my day, and several Park Delta Bay residents rally to diagnose the problem and offer solutions. As the last of them exits into the dark of a cool California night, a smile dawns on my face.
Yes, I understand: those emails constitute rank complaint and back-sliding. They dripped with castigation of people who treated me poorly. (I utter these words and Marshall Rosenberg spins in his grave.) Let me try again: Those e-mails represent a tragic expression of an unmet need.
What need? Mine: To be cherished. In the face of yet another round of people who chose instead to decline a chance to cherish me, I railed on people whom I believe actually do. Once more, she utters that timeless lament: Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
I could avoid this, by disdaining any quest for happiness. If I lived life on a flat-line, there would be no chance for pleasure but also, no possibility of pain.
I’ll chance meeting people who will reject me, against the certain knowledge that my friends love me, that there are brilliant sunsets and fabulous vistas, of the heart as well as on land. I embrace joy, even knowing that if I crash, as I did earlier this week, I’ll suffer overwhelming heartache. If knowing joy means keenly feeling its absence, the risk seems worthwhile to me.
Perhaps those who received the letters which I penned in self-pity would prefer that I keep my anguish to myself. And yet, somehow, when those emotions threaten to destroy me, I need to talk about it. I’d listen for them and have, for them and others. It’s what we do. However, this journey forces me to re-evaluate my tendency to wallow in lament. I’m getting better at recovering from relapse. I hope my friends forgive the occasional misstep.
I don’t really think we pay a price for joy. Sadness has its own origins. But even if I’m wrong, I’ll endure whatever trials come my way, if doing so helps insure the triumphs. I’ll take the downs with the ups.
It’s the thirteenth day of the fiftieth month of My Year Without Complaining. My clumsy life continues.