j-r-practix-with-border-2Brier: (n) any of a number of prickly scrambling shrubs

Maybe pleasure is the absence of pain. It seems like a dark definition.

Perhaps pleasure and pain should be separated by some great gulf to ensure they will not bang into each other. We could call that valley between the two “normalcy.”

But all of us know that’s a lie.

What we gradually learn is that having a wet diaper and a hungry tummy isn’t worth squalling about. It sure seems like we should do it when we’re babies–but that’s because we’re babies. Everything is about us and our comfort, and anything that disrupts us is considered so despicable that we must scream at the top of our lungs.

Nine years old and I went out picking blackberries. There were briers with thorns. The blackberries were beautiful. Can I also say they were quite tasty?

But I pricked myself three or four times and came back with a bad memory of the excursion because of a little pain.

Since that time, life has come along and beat me up quite a bit–to the point that being pricked in a brier patch seems miniscule, especially in comparison to the pleasure which comes from the fruit of my labor.

Maturity, especially spiritual ascension, is once and for all understanding that the absence of pain is pleasure.