Monday Morning Quotes

Monday Morning Quotes ~
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Since 1998 I've been sending out these reflections first thing each week--one or more quotes plus my thoughts about the intersections and contradictions. They're archived here back to 2002, and a new one is posted every Monday morning. Dialogue is still welcome . . .

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Quote #947 - #DayofAtonement

28 Sep, 2020


#TodayistheDay #YomKippur

"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.
Kahlil Gibran

"To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose."
Andrew Solomon

Last week we heard (or didn't) the shofar calling to wake us up.
I, too, tried to wake us up,
things to think about between Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur.

Today is the official Day of Atonement,
and most of the people I know
are so overwhelmed with agony, loss, heartbreak,
fear and anxiety,
that they're not sure how to move forward.
And i get it.
I feel it, too.
It comes in waves.
But waves come, too, of the smells on the autumn breeze,
of the reds and golds of the changing leaves
(which are also beautiful because they are dying),
and the strength of the cries for justice.

It is a different kind of joy that we find after agony, loss, heartbreak,
Or having lost ourselves certain capabilities, faculties.
It is a joy in what we had, what we still have, what we always have, yes,
But it is more.
It is a joy in what is recognized or discovered now because of the pain,
Or because of the openness we find in ourselves
When we allow ourselves that pain without shutting down.

If we do not allow joy itself to "grow up" continually, perpetually,
we may never feel joy again.
And there is so much that is still joyful
wonder, discovery, beauty,
love and affection.

The ultimate contradictory co-existing reality:
joy and sorrow.

It's good to remember that at both the best and worst of times.
It's good to get some distance--intellectually if not emotionally--
to feel, to know it is all a cycle,
to feel, to know nothing is really lost,
to know everything you have ever had is still somewhere yours.
Its good to get some distance--
just enough to get perspective--
so you can find a way through
to whatever is next to come

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