the tension

November 9, 2006

“My own mortality has become a central fear & concern. The thought of what I may now miss. It’s an uncomfortable feeling.”


That from another expectant father, leaving a comment a few posts ago. It put me in mind of a passage from a book by a favourite writer of mine, called Henri Nouwen:


“There is a quality of sadness that pervades all the moments of our life. It seems that there is no such thing as clear-cut pure joy but that, even in the most happy moments of our existence, we sense a tinge of sadness. In every satisfaction, there is an awareness of the limitations. In every success, there is the fear of jealousy. Behind every smile, there is a tear. In every embrace, there is loneliness. In every friendship, distance. And in all forms of light, there is knowledge of surrounding darkness…When you touch the hand of a returning friend, you already know that he will have to leave you again. When you are moved by the quiet vastness of a sun-covered ocean, you miss the friend who cannot see the same. Joy and sadness are born at the same time, both arising from such deep places in your hear that you can’t find words to capture your complex emotions” (Nouwen, The Dance of Life, pp.124-25)


One Response to “the tension”

  1. tracie said

    I came across your site though a page devoted to fathers. Your writing is thoughtful. My husband and I are recently parents of two (she’s six weeks old and he is two). It is quite the journey. Nouwen is great and I’ve shared your site with a friend as well as my husband. Interesting reading. thanks.

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