Poetry: Welcome

by Darrell Z. Grizzle

Welcome to the ranks of those who feel
deeply. This is not an easy path.
You will be subject to both anxiety attacks
and random attacks of grace.
You will have days when everything is crystal clear
and days when everything is murky grey.
You will have days when you will feel such joy
you’ll think you might explode.
And you will have days when you will feel despair
so deeply you’ll long to be shallow again
and wonder if you can ever return to normal.
The answer is no.
Your capacity for love — the depths of your compassion —
your ability to experience the emotions that make life worth living —
these are directly proportionate to your ability to feel pain.
This is your blessing and this is your curse.

Originally published in Whosoever, January/February 2001
Copyright © 2001 by the author