Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Joy and Grief

I got some nice news yesterday: How Oliver Olson Changed the World has been selected by the New York Public Library as one of their "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing" for 2009. Oh, how I love turning on email and having some tidbit of good news. I can feast on this for weeks!

This made me think of Emily Dickinson's poem that begins:

I can wade grief,
Whole pools of it, -
I'm used to that.
But the least push of joy
Breaks up my feet,
And I tip - drunken.

I definitely feel a bit tipsy with happiness today.

I didn't use to be so good at wading whole pools of grief. It used to be that, even as the least push of joy made me tipsy, the least push of grief made me weep. Any amount of either one overwhelmed me. But in the last few years, I have had a lot more experience than I ever expected to have with wading pools of grief, and you know, you really do get used to it. You trudge on through. You do what you have to do.

I don't know if it's just that I haven't had enough joy in my life to get used to it - though I really have had a very happy life - or if joy is something you never get used to, that it's always Emily's "new liquor" to made us drunken and delighted. In any case, I'm drunken and delighted today.


  1. Congratulations! The New York Public Library has excellent taste.

  2. I think on days like this you should just enjoy your drunken delight. If you push it to the side and try to work as usual, you'll cheat yourself. Joyful moments are meant to be celebrated, and so often we don't take the time to really relish it all.

  3. My local library is a little smaller than NY Public (although we all highly respect that institution) but yesterday I recommended that out children's department purchase "Dinah Forever." I wonder how NY missed that one!
    -- Carol Linda

  4. Hurrah!!! I loved it too - so glad NY Public agrees with me :) Amanda (and Michael)