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Enjoyment as a Gift for Our Hearts

47 77/365 I approve this message
I approve this message. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

Once a year, Stratoz goes on a silent spiritual retreat at the Jesuit Center at Wernersville, and he took this photo of beautiful orange stitchery, and this slip of paper proclaiming,

Enjoy!
It is God’s will!

What a surprising admonition!  I have heard “God’s will” invoked as involving sacrifice, or doing something painful, or suffering, and that version of God’s will can be corrosive to the heart, especially if enjoying this moment, this world, this existence, seems wrong.  Some of my readers may recognize this in their own lives:  a tendency to dismiss what we enjoy as irrelevant, unimportant, as if we don’t matter.  Or if you are like me, to read this as “Enjoy dammit, or you are failing at joy.”

I am beginning to learn that enjoyment is a gift, and it is acceptable to accept it, and that being open to joy in my life has increased my desire to share that joy with others.  I love being in my art studio, making mosaics, and love sending my work out into the world, to people who find delight in what I make.  One Saturday, at the Lansdale Farmers Market, a woman came into the booth, and stopped to look at my mandalas.  Lori Dudley is a massage therapist, and she saw the story of a massage within my Red Tail Rainbow Mandala, how someone comes in at the red tip, tense in their muscles, and slowly, as the massage unfolds, they spiral into the relaxation and peace of the blue greens.  I loved that story, that vision of my mosaic, and her enjoyment of the Red Tail Rainbow was enjoyment spiraling ever wider.

Red Tail Rainbow Mosaic Mandala by Margaret Almon
Red Tail Rainbow Mosaic Mandala by Margaret Almon

 

3 comments

  1. citymouse says:

    I agree! Someone once chided me about not letting others do things for me… that I was preventing them from reaping the joy that serving/giving/sharing would provide them, not to mention the joy that I would receive. I found that to be an interesting concept.

    I think for an artist, there is inherent joy in the work… for those who find beauty or inspiration in the piece and for the artist. It is an awesome thing to be able to give in that capacity.

    PS: My latest post is a little one about joy.

    PPS: My in-laws live in Wernersville. I know exactly where the Jesuit Center is.

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