Sunday, November 21

poem of the week [we must risk delight]

"Joy needs defending.
It can indeed seem up for trial without a defense in times like ours, when the world's miseries and injustices are clamoring for attention right there on our screens all hours of the day. It is difficult for a person with even a modicum of conscience not to acknowledge that sorrow is everywhere, that the most vulnerable human beings, women and children, especially, suffer degredations on a daily basis.

But does that mean we don't throw the Frisbee on the beach? We don't delight in a meal eaten with friends in warm evening air or in the sight of the sun slipping into the ocean? Gilbert doesn't think so. He reminds us, in this, a poem suffused with the savor of human dignity, that this world will always contain the full spectrum of human experiences. All Gilbert's work seems to weave a fine thead between the classical and romantic attitudes to life.

Staggering beauty and ravening pain live side by side in Nature.

The summer dawn sheds light on the tiger's kill as well as its beatuy. That's the way it is, so surely it must be what God wants.
You might say that God surely wants only the Good and we are the ones who deliver the evil-- that we can choose differently... But in that case, since God presumably made us with the faculty of choice, He/She must be willing to accept the results. And the results are not commendable.

Nor are they ever likely to be, for as the Buddha has said, suffering is intrinsic to the nature of this world. After all, shadowing every one of our moments, whether of ecstatic joy or profound sorrow, is the invevitbale incursion of old age, sickness and death. It is how we respond to suffering that makes all the difference....

Jake Gilbert is urging us to respond, despite everything, with an affirmation of life, which is joy."

[roger housden]

So then, let us be joyful.
Let us l i v e.

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