By Chandrama Anderson
“To get the full value of joy . . .Uploaded: Aug 11, 2022
. . . you must have someone to divide it with.” - Mark Twain
Who do you divide joy with? Today has been a rich day, dividing joy with my husband and two of my oldest friends (50 years friends). I saw the Hole in the Head at Bodega Head. I smelled fresh sea air. Saw whales that stay off the Sonoma coast since there’s plankton for them year-round now. I watched a great blue heron listen for gophers (or my leg was pulled with this story). We were still, and the heron walked closer and closer to us. I heard its footsteps in the dry grass. Watched its elegant walk with the long neck undulating to retain balance. I felt the breeze on my skin, blowing my hair. I heard the voices of people I love dearly. Yes, a day of joy.
To change topics, moving has been more exhausting than I wish it’s been. We remodeled our kitchen while moving and getting the house refreshed. Crazy, huh? Yup. The good news is that my husband and I are in it together; stressful though it is. We have a few moments of poor interactions now and then. We regroup, soothe ourselves, and make a repair a few minutes later, and soothe each other. It’s easier when you have a lot of inter-personal credit in your relationship bank. As John Gottman says, you need a 5:1 ratio of good interactions to poor ones. 80%. Not perfect. We’ll get to our joy post my husband’s retirement soon. And divide that daily.
I’ve been sad about the divides and sides in our country. We can agree to disagree and still be civil and kind. I’m sickened by the need for others to try to tell women what we can-and can’t-do reproductively. I can’t imagine laws being passed that tell men they can’t have a vasectomy or use condoms. This is pain and sadness divided.
As Michael Jackson sings, look at the man in the mirror. Get your own house in order first to change the world. If someone whispered to you, “I know” where would you jump to in your mind? Maybe there’s some house cleaning you need to do with yourself, and perhaps with others.
On a wonderful note: an amazing choral concert is on Sunday and my husband is singing in it. Opus 27 Concert, at the First Presbyterian San Anselmo, San Anselmo CA. After two years of anticipation, Consort will perform its 27th concert!
Without pain, joy doesn’t possess the air it needs to bolster us up. Yet let’s not dwell in pain. It has awful repercussions; even if it takes a while to be known and visible. Seek joy, offer joy to others, divide it with others, especially your partner.