Thirsty Thursday

Joy is not meant to be a crumb.

from Don’t Hesitate, by Mary Oliver

The play on the word crumb tickled me. First is the obvious meaning: something small such as a fragment of bread or a cake. And the by-product of something small like a fragment. Maybe something so small you can barely see it. Joy should never be small, even if it is fleeting.

Then there’s the other meaning of crumb: Someone who is an objectionable person. If joy was personified or an object, would it be a crumb? Nosiree. Joy would be a cake, definitely a three layer delight.

Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.

9 thoughts on “Thirsty Thursday

  1. I am reminded of the time, post-divorce, when a friend and I, embarking on the same journey, decided that we had been like stray dogs, existing off crumbs. We vowed never to do that again.

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    • Such a timely post. My sibling relationships – I’m the eldest of six girls – have are a far cry from the Hallmark moment portrayal of them in films, literature and other media. I have felt like an outsider my entire adult life, always hankering for their approval and acceptance. Recently, I realized I was settling for the ‘crumbs’ they’d toss my way and decided No More. I want the real, authentic, true joy of sisterhood and I know now that my JOY has to come from an acceptance of my life as it is, even if that means they aren’t a part of it. Indeed, if I succumb and let myself gather close to them, the same of tics, anxieties and self-doubt emerge. So, better – though sad – to just keep my distance.

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  2. Rivers don’t flow both ways, tides do. I wonder what river she is referring to. Google says it is the Hudson but I don’t think Margaret is being literal. Looking forward to other responses.

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    • Hi David,
      The quote “The river flows both ways.” comes from the book The Diviners by Margaret Laurence. She is using the image to introduce the main character’s examination of her present by reviewing the past. It is also a literal description because in the scene the wind is blowing against the current, giving it the appearance of moving in both directions. I like it because as we examine our past, it can’t help but be shaped by our present conditions. The quote appears at the end of every post as a discussion prompt because conversations also flow both ways. So, thank you for responding and starting the conversation.
      S.

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      • Thank you Susanne, on the lakes near my home I often see the phenomenon where the wind is pushing the surface including on the channel between the lakes. The channel runs north to south but if the wind is blowing from the south it sometimes looks like the channel is running south to north. I enjoyed your explanation and hope you have a great day.

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