At the Edge of My Joy
by Doug Bursch
At the edge of my joy stands my sorrow
waiting for the laughter to wane
quiet in the shadows at the edge of light and fellowship.
I turn my back to sorrow, but it encircles every room.
I place myself in the center of the movement
but it will be quiet soon.
Soon it will be quiet and the room will empty
and I will look down and in, avoiding the distant gaze
the gaze that takes me beyond the circle of light
into the shadows, into my sorrow.
Whatever thought I am, whatever thought I have captured
cannot release me from the limits of my mind
cannot release me from the circle I know and the edge of what I know
the edge beyond the light, beyond the circle, where it is unknowable
In most of my living, I believe that discovery gives me life
I believe that knowledge brings understanding and comfort.
But I cannot escape the limitation, I cannot escape my inability to be limited.
Limitlessness terrifies me, the thought of endlessness
the thought of my inability to think it out, work it out…
this is a crushing blow, a panicked feeling with no thought to comfort
a panicked feeling, from a panicked thought
that sorrow is waiting for me at the edges of my understanding.
Hold me! I need this love to hold me.
Help me! I need this peace that passes understanding.
It is my only hope, that I will never experience shadow
only thought of shadow, only temporary fear
that fades under the weight of the light and life I experience now.
Eternal now, hem me in, comfort me.
I need your glory to blind my distant gaze
and center me into the reality of this room and this moment
where you are present and I am ok.