I think this is true of our more personal grief as well. When I try to avoid my sorrow, when I feel affronted by the pain of my life, the impact of my grief seems to increase. Paradoxically, the only relief at all for me is to surrender to the fact of my grief, to accept my burden and try to carry it as gracefully as I can. Writing is one way—one of the most important ways—I do this.
And I write to sink more deeply into the joy. Happiness, it would seem, should be an easier emotion to experience—and obviously in many ways it is. But there are a million opportunities for pleasure and gratefulness that I miss—we all do--every day. Poetry allows me to pay attention—which is its own pure form of prayer. It allows me to praise the ordinary and extraordinary moments of this one short life.