Monday, April 07, 2008

Grace Is a River

Joy cannot be sustained by just willing it. Joy is being with others and changing others. Grace is a key component of joy...if one is not filled with grace how can joy enter into one's life?

Today has been a rather exhausting day of deadlines piling up, of expectations being blown away, and of an aching desire for the semester to go away and at the same time the wish it would be longer.

It seems I have no answers today, just questions, just pains. I have tried many ways to shake the questions, the doubts in my mind. I have come so far, but it seems not far enough. I am trying to assuage the doubts, the stress. I am finding new paths to relieving my stress as the old ones are dying away.

I am starting to focus more on the smaller things, especially on campus. They're everywhere now that it's spring, especially while walking around. I've noticed the sweeter smell of bushes I've yet to notice before. With the help of a friend, I narrowed it down to be Japanese Pittosporum, which has a sweet smell that reminds me of the gardenias from home.

I was entirely worn out this afternoon, so I went to the Commons after my last class because I had a hunch that someone would be playing the piano in the lobby. Sure enough there was a fellow playing and so I dozed...and dozed. The chords of music continued to float, to dance in my mind. I cannot play, but the music calms me even when I am the tensest. It also helps me in my writing moods, to bring together something so effervescent as words on one's breath. I then recalled the poem I wrote a few days before, which I have posted below.

I knew of a few things that could have made the moment better and that could have made the moment perfect. I hoped for it, but it didn't come. The only thing that came was the thought: not today. So I left to go home and for dinner. But I was stopped again, this time in the park between Langford and the O&M building behind the Administration Building. The sun caught my eyes like it does in the evenings. It was flooding the park in a most pleasing orange.

I took another nap on one of the benches, letting the orange sunlight flood my eyes as I looked up to the oak trees' branches overhead. All I heard were the birds' chirps and the quiet, cool feeling of the breeze. The breeze felt like it was an invisible blanket of comfort, like God was tucking me in for rest. I had finally relaxed. I had finally smiled for the day.

I felt compelled enough to go to the Bonfire Memorial for the first time this semester. I hadn't been there since my photography trip the Saturday morning before the A&M-Kansas football game last fall. I couldn't help but imagine that I was one of those fallen. That it was my name on the bronze plaque. I felt that would be easier than what is going on now. But their words gave me some peace, some perseverance to go on.

I don't want to leave this community, but I know I must eventually. I am being drawn to stay, to look closer at the small things, to breathe in the sweet smells, to go further, to go deeper in reflection and in love. I may be without much visible joy right now, but it is on shining the light underneath it all that my joy resides and shimmers. It may be buried, but it is not gone.

Joy is not about excluding the sorrows of life but accepting them and THEN rising above them. Joy is never to be a stagnant feeling...I just wish I wasn't so stagnant right now. My ship isn't moving on this listless sea. Maybe tomorrow will be a day where the winds take up my sails and move me forward to joy. Until then rest is my closest friend.

Peace is found not so much in happiness, but in an acceptance of what was, what is, and what will be. I am slowly finding that peace again.

Sweet Symphony

Raise, O Angelic Choruses,
Your voices in the heavens.
Show your boundless beauty
In voices ceaselessly raised
To the God of Endless Glory,
For through Him we are saved.

O God of Divine Mercy,
Give us voices worthy,
Worthy to sing You praise.
Give us the chords of love,
Chords in which to praise
The love You plant within us every day.

Strengthen our chords of love
Until we reunite in the Clouds above,
Where all sorrow is wiped away.
Lengthen our chords of love
So we may not only love our friends
But even our enemies to the very end.

Combine our chords of love
So that we may do Your will
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Bring together all our chords
So that they may be pleasing,
Pleasing in every way, O Lord.

Grant us Your mercy, O Lord,
In this world and the next,
Creating a sweet symphony so very blest.

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