On Sorrow

So, I have already informed most of ya’ll that I was a pretty morbid, or even “emo” kid. Among the treasury of poems I memorized, in addition to “Too Late” which I already discussed in my post, A Grieving Love, was the following poem by Robert Browning Hamilton:

“I walked a mile with Pleasure;

She chatted all the way;

But left me none the wiser

For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow;
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me.”

My young life felt full of sorrow, to be fair, and I felt my hardships made me wiser than my more joyful, carefree classmates. I read at an advanced level (although my fear of tests made me score poorly), I hated the nonsense most kids talked about, and I felt like I never fit in. So this poem spoke to me for many, many years. I often felt that joy was cheap and meaningless. That in order for something to actually carry substance, it had to be touched by grief, touched by sorrow. 
Recently, I have really been re-evaluating my worldview, something I will probably always do, and I’ve really been re-examining this poem. I believe grief has helped forge me into the sympathetic, forgiving, if flawed person I am today. I will always be grateful for that. There will be times I walk with sorrow later on, grief that will come and will show me how much more I have to learn from Her, but should I live walking constantly in Her shadow? Should I feel every person’s heartbreak, see the sadness in every person’s step, and live my life engulfed in a protective blanket of sorrow? Probably not. Have I lived like that for some time? No, but this thought has niggled at my mind whenever I feel myself laughing too loudly or reveling in just how blessed I am.
So, with those thoughts in mind, I wrote the following poem:
   This photo is copyrighted by Cole Thompson. Permission to use the photo was granted by the artist – please visit Cole Thompson Photography and Cole Thompson Photography Blog to learn and see more of his creative work.  
  
We all carry burdens, but joy is so precious when it is here – what is the harm in allowing it in? There’s nothing to fear from laughing with abandon, and there is no sense in worrying that you may seem foolish. What is a fool, anyway?
May happiness follow you all everywhere, on whatever journey you take.
-The Rambler

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