I received an intriguing Christmas card this year from an inspiring group of friends and their Irish band, Erin Rogue (www.erinrogue.com). Included with the holiday greeting was a remarkable selection of their music recorded on CD. I have played it countless times, soothed by their artistry and motivated by their presentation.
One of the most striking pieces is titled, “Wind and the Spirit” with a reading at the end by Maeve O’Mara taken from The Prophet. The intricate writing about Joy and Sorrow is illuminated with a compelling musical background. I found the words to be completely true. Only those who have walked in sorrow will know the depths of joy. Without sounding boastful, for I would never desire to be arrogant with what I have learned, I can assuredly say, “I know these depths.” On most days I would prefer to be unaware. It seems like there is sometimes safety in ignorance. Yet, this is a myth. Only in truth are we ever really secure.
Excerpt from The Prophet:
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.