both and

In her poem “The Art of Blessing the Day”, poet Marge Piercy says:

“We must remember, pleasure is as real as pain”.

Last night Gloria Steinem enjoined those of us present for her presentation to tend to pleasure and joy and gratitude even as we work with all we have to change systems of oppression.

Pleasure is as real as pain.

For five days last week, I was immersed in pleasure.  I spent time with three beloved clergy sisters in Portland, Oregon.  We were there to savor the gift of deep friendship and we were there to play.

I woke up each morning giving thanks for the great good of not knowing what was on the agenda.  I had space to savor and give thanks for the blast of joy that was Easter, as well as the deep worship of Holy Week.  I celebrated the amazing beauty of the land and the wild goodness of being with kindreds in whose company tears of all varieties are shared.  Laughter-induced pain is fantastic ache.

There is work to do, to be sure.  I am not the most patient of people.  There is so much pain in the world that gets doled out from human to human and yet, pleasure is as real as pain and I was in it.

Oh yes I was.