Sunday, October 09, 2011

Joyous Pain

Feeling pain and it's bloody marvelous.

People who have suffered depression, can I get a witness?

There is no life without some pain. There is no intimacy without some pain. Saying yes to things means saying no to other things. Choices. I am feeling the pain of saying no to something I want. I am feeling the pain of saying goodbye to company I was enjoying. I am feeling love and sadness as people pass to and fro on this spinning rock, this human realm, this burning house.

For years, I felt nothing except disappointment and boredom. Yet what an interesting year has been 2011: passion, great sadness, great joy. Oh yes that's right, this is what life feels like.

Imagine getting used to playing a piano that only had two octaves and no black notes. After years of that, for whatever reason, you find that you have a complete piano again, more or less in tune and playing chords rich and delicious.

It is good to feel.

Can it be too much?

For me sometimes it almost feels like too much "information" is passing through, as though my wires might fry up -- has this ever concerned you? This is a good use for chanting. Out loud. Engage the voice. I use Buddhist chants because I know 'em. Different people connect to different words. Religious texts, love songs, the poems of Rumi or Neruda, or even the nonsense language of Hugo Ball. Whatever, but sing it out.

Have you actually read this far? You've been awfully indulgent, thank you. Feels right to close with a few minutes of George Harrison, joyfully chanting and playing. As far as I know, he is chanting names of figures from Vedanta mythology, but I don't know much about that. The meaning behind the stuff he's singing doesn't need any translation. Dae ja dae bi, great love, great sadness. What else could joy be?


Kelly said...

This post spoke to me in more ways than you can imagine, Algernon.

Thank you.

Ji Hyang said...

Thank you for keeping it real, for sharing your lived experience--

MorningStar said...

Thank you for sharing this joyful chant. I'm glad you're feeling.

Mandy_Fish said...

Loved this.

And I just started watching the George Harrison biography that Martin Scorsese did for HBO.