The experience of feeling

Do you ever sit and ponder the complexities of life and feel them deep in your soul, enough to bring tears to your eyes? Tears as complex as the life you exist within? Tears that stay in your eyes, because no one emotion is dominate enough to bring them all the way out? They aren’t sad tears, but there is sorrow there. They aren’t tears of joy, but there is a warm joy in your heart. They aren’t frustrated tears, but there is a sense of I’ve had enough.

I feel if I could just let them out and cry a little, the tangled web would somehow unravel itself into understanding.

I feel it when I see my children having a hard day. The love I have for them is full of so much joy, but it also hurts because they hurt, and it’s frustrating because their bad days rub off on me.

I feel it when I think of my family’s future. Our decisions to do hard things. The potential healing and joy that will come, but a great potential for heartache as well.

I’m taking a literary theory course this term, and this week we studied deconstruction. One idea deconstruction has is that the world is full of binaries that create our ideologies: good/evil, joy/sorrow, light/dark. But they then break down those binaries by showing how intertwined and connected they are. For example, good only exists because evil exists; without evil the concept of good would be unnecessary. Light only means the absence of dark.

“The shadow proves the sunshine.” -Switchfoot

Whether or not you agree with the deconstructionists’ disproving of ideologies, it’s hard to argue against their idea that binaries rely on the existence of the other. But from my own experience, I feel the deconstructionists were on to something. I’m not so sure joy and sorrow are so separate. More than just dependent on the other’s existence, they are intertwined, they exist simultaneously. Letting joy into your heart is also letting in a great potential for pain, which just that potential carries a sorrow. And it’s so exquisitely human.

“One risks weeping a little if one allows himself to be tamed.” -The Little Prince

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