As we pause this American Memorial Day and reflect on those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this country… our country… your country… my country.
My heart and mind lend themselves to the legacy of my grandfather, John H. Clark, Sr., and his service to this country… our country… your country… my country. He served in the greatest army in the world, the United States Army.
For my friends outside of the islands, here in Hawaii, the American Memorial Day has evolved into a day of remembrance for Veterans as well as all others who have passed away before us.
In fact, on this upcoming American Memorial Day, there is a special Lantern Floating Ceremony that facilitates a celebrated space in time to remember, reflect, and offer gratitude to those who have gone on before us. It is also a collective experience where families, friends and even strangers reach out with love and understanding to support each other... a grand gesture in times of loss and remembrance.
Of course, thoughts of my grandfather usually lead to thoughts of my grandmother. The total embodiment of love, my grandmother will forever serve as the cornerstone of my understanding of agape, earthly love... and the fundamental faith that exists in the gift of forgiveness.
In reminiscing on the life and legacy of my grandmother, grandfather, and all those souls who have prepared my path (and those enlightened spirits who continue to nudge, pull, prod, and carry me through each day), I adore the following insight on Joy and Sorrow:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises…
was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being,
the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine
the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit,
the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous,
look deep into your heart and you shall find…
it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow…"
and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come.
And when one sits, alone with you at your board,
remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
You are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver,
needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
~ "On Joy and Sorrow" by Kahlil Gibran
This American Memorial Day, let’s purposefully set aside divisive politics, pressures, and petty differences. Let’s collectively recall and remind each other of this great American dream… paid for in lives, loves, and the literal legacy of our ancestors.
Let’s pay it forward by focusing on what makes us indivisible.
Those we love don't go away,
They walk beside us every day.
Unseen, unheard, but always near;
Still loved, still missed and very dear.
May God continue to bless you, your loved ones, and our beloved United States of America.
Accept. Adapt. Achieve. ®
For information on the Lantern Ceremony, visit the link below.
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons