Joy of Life
All those studies about how people without children are happier. Measuring happiness by varying quality of life scales and determinants. Freedom. Self-determination. Time to pursue wishes and wants. Extra cash. Vacations. Peaceful, one with nature, lover of all humanity.
All those studies. And bad mommy blogs. And wine for breakfast while the baby screams memes.
None of it has any weight compared with that of my sleeping child curled up next to me. The joy of his light. The fullness of heart.
The intensity of feeling. The intensity of what feelings can be. The experience of paralyzing terror, only equaled by the paralyzing joy.
A way of feeling. That I haven’t felt since I pulled myself together after I was torn apart. When I would play records on loud. When sounds of the air around me, felt like the inside, when music felt like equalizing pressure so I could breathe, so my heart could beat.
A way of experiencing, of perceiving… This motherhood.
It is all those things. It is life itself.
There is no living on the edge like the motherhood edge. Motherhood is the domain of the thrill-seeker.
We give up too soon on life. On it’s beginnings we find reasons to say no, at the end too. We say pain, the pain of life is too unbearable. So much pain and anguish, getting in the way of how we want to feel, getting in the way of what we want from life.
No one wants to hurt. But life can’t be all happiness and self love all the time. It can’t be all about actualizing our true selves in a quest to be a better us. There’s more to the individual than what she can do for the broader world, for a cause, for humanity at large.
There’s feeling your own real pulsing heart. The experience of actual life. That in itself, being alive itself, without any caveats or conditions or peremptors, is joy.
There is not one life that is not worth living from beginning to end.
The value of life cannot be studied or measured, because in practice it may only be measured against other lives, and measured with the yardstick of the studier’s moral perspective and ethos. The value of life is inherent. Life is inherently meaningful be it that of the first human on earth or the last of the 20 billionth.
I struggle with meaning. I reach out for it. I change what meaning means. I reach out for it. I redefine and fall back on the first and come back round to the end again. Then, finally, the very idea of a meaning beyond the fact of existence, the idea of meaning beyond the experience of life, becomes meaningless to me.