The Balance We Need

We need the balance of all life's emotions, the joy along with the sorrow. ''Be greedy for life, but share your treasures.''

January 15, 1998

I've been finding some real gems of written word out on the web. Previously the search had often turned up plastic, like the kind you find in bubblegum dispensers. The "jewelry" is dispensed with big cheap gum balls. These sickening sweet globs don't chew well. I spit them out, disappointed. Or, worse, I find their discarded wrappers, along with the rest of the flotsam that settled into the author's mental gutters. He found an art in them. Maybe there is. But I can't see it. So I drift along, shuffling along the web road of life, and sigh: "No pickins' today. . ."

However, people have decided to surprise me lately.

One author shared her musings about what being a writer means. In "Defining Myself as a Writer" Leah, (somebody, she must have given her last name, SOMEwhere on her site...http://members.aol.com/zoe98600/www/), seeks to know whether she deserves to call herself a writer. Her honest dialogue moved me to respond, as if almost in a trance. Those words of hers had hypnotised me, and I wrote as I thought:

Defining Myself as a Writer....

Hm-m-mm. That is a constant inner dialogue with myself. I remember when I was young and my father told me "You think you're an artist! You don't draw, you don't paint..."

So with this learned fearfulness, (How DARE you think you're a writer...you vain creature of illusions!)

(...gosh...am I going to send this rant???)

I return back to the inner dialogue, The STRUGGLE, the fuzzy, but gradually clarifying view of perfection, a goal seen in the distance. I get closer to seeing what it is. I see it in the words of writers who move me, make me feel things, make me ponder truths. This holy grail that ever fuels the fire of my soul. . .

(What the hell, it beats boredom!)

I think that's the balance we need. We must take ourselves seriously and yet not TOO seriously.

Remember to have FUN in life. We forget that. My painting teacher told me HER teacher told her "To be a great artist, you must suffer." My very young soul thought (as does my slighter older soul now) , "Oh, yeah, cutting off your own ear really helps your art???"

I add:

To be a great artist, you must laugh...laugh deep from the well of the incredible richness of life. Laugh, and love and feel it all, the whole gamut of this stuff called life. Be aware to every sensation. Listen for ephemeral delicacies. Look for ephemeral delicacies.

The very act of looking will improve your vision. Look and wonder. Ponder. Ponder everything. Don't be afraid to look under rocks. Truth redeems the 'dirt' and 'bugs'. Cry. Don't be afraid to cry. Sob 'til you think you're going to fill the ocean. You'll 'weigh' less. Your soul with the lightness of burdens released will dance again.

Dance! Feel the pulse of the music deep within. It's calling to you. It wants you to dance. You want to dance. Yeah, get out of that chair that holds you...it is not your slave. Listen to your body. Eat when you're hungry. Sleep when you're tired. Lay your head on that pillow of dreams and float. It's all right, ALL RIGHT.

Everything in your life is meant to be. Hard, scary, silly, merry, angry, it is all part of the whole. Love the whole, the whole of your inimitable existence. Love and share your ephemeral delicacies. Eat those ephemeral delicacies....plump berries of life. They go "pop!" in your mouth, all those beautiful berries, and the juice tastes so GOOD. Eat!

Be greedy for life, but share your treasures. There is plenty of room at the table of life.

© Joan Ann Lansberry
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