Last days of my bitter heart

I have big issues with happiness. Not that I object to it in principle. Enjoyment is pretty much what Christianity is all about for me, joy is a moral good and all that.

What i mean is that i find myself uncomfortable with it. I am suspicious of it. I listen to too much miserable music, i read too many miserable books, i love miserable movies. But never mind this, i have eyes to see that life is a long (though occasionally brief) stream of pain and suffering interrupted by periods of peace and joy.

Perhaps i jest. Perhaps.

Not that i am describing my life. My life is a long stream of privilege and blessing interrupted by the odd major life event but mainly lots of melancholic wallowing.

But when I am joyful i always have one eye on the pain. You can’t have the sweet without the sour (baby) as i learnt from Vanilla Sky. Or rather, Vanilla Sky articulated what i already supposed.

This has become more of an issue in the past year. Since Da dying and all that.

I struggle to remember him without bitterness – not in the sense of anger or regret, more in the sense of sadness. I cannot have the joy and the thankfulness without the pain of remembering.

Yes i rant about this a lot. About memory and its effect on me. That the older I get the more memories i accumulate and the slightly more unhinged i become.

Lewis wrote in the great divorce about how people wanted to bring hell with them to heaven. That hell wanted a veto on heaven. That because there was pain, there could be no joy.

So why does my memory of pain (not only Da, but all the horrible things that happen to people i love every day) get to veto joy?

Surely it’s not a question of veto? That something or someone should be able to shout down the whole affair. Yes there is truth that it’s rare to find the sweet without the sour but they do at least get to co-exist, not one eliminating the other.

Anyhow.

I took a long walk here in the sun and i think i had my first purely joyful and thankful memories of dad. Toes in the ocean and all that.

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Last days of my bitter heart”


  1. 1 jayber crow August 12, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Thanks for this Andy.It reminded me of this CS Lewis quote (I know it won’t be new to you):

    “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.

    But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

    You must come by some time for a bit of Wendell/Gillian/single malt appreciation. All sweet and no sour…

  2. 2 Nelly And I August 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Cheers Jayber. Will confess the quote sounds new to me at least. Where did you find it?

    i need some more gillian welch and wendell berry definitely, and will never say no to the single malt

  3. 3 jayber crow August 16, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    It’s from the four loves.

    Let’s do it soon (sorry it didn’t work out this week).


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




About

August 2009
M T W T F S S
« Jul   Sep »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  
Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: