If we were giv'n to know how free of pain,
How rapturous and playful we will feel
When once we leave behind what we call "real"
And transit to an other-worldly plane;
Were we to lose the blessing of grim fear,
That motivates our passion for each day,
Prescribes participation in the fray
That brands with meaning all that we hold dear-
Might we into depression's cave descend,
And lose the verve that sparks activity?
Perhaps regret our own nativity,
Lapse passive into waiting for the end?
Or might we rise anew to freedom's call,
Embracing life's sweet fullness, pain and all?
- JJM = #36 in the I Ching Sonnet Project