I have been reading a piece by Rachel Richardson called "Eating disorder inspires laughs" in the Disordered Times and thinking more about the mission of my blog (if I can even call it a mission).
I intentionally chose a light-hearted title for this blog, AVIDALEGRIA, which roughly means "eager happiness." When I began, I was hoping to write about the things that make me happy at a time when my job was not going well, my father was very ill, and my husband and I were facing some difficulty decisions regarding graduate school. Facing all of these stresses, I knew that I had to have something else to look forward to -- and so I cultivated my hobbies, devoted myself to my cooking and knitting and biking and friendship, and wrote about these things, to keep them with me and remind myself of all that was good and sunny and harmonious in my life.
You probably have these things, too, these pequenas alegrias (little joys) that soothe you when you are just about run ragged by everything else in the wide world. Your comforts may not be the culinary or fiber arts; you may be scornful of these things, or merely indifferent. And yet I venture a guess that you also know where to look when the bastards get you down; you also cultivate small worlds of delight and refuge. I wonder where they are, in what corners you hide when there are too many storms about.
From now on, you'll find me here, writing and snapping photos and composing blog entries, putting together bits of text and images in order to provide a counterweight to the darker moments of life. Because we need counterweights; we need joys to stand firm against our suffering, our fatigue, our despair. This is not to ignore the darker side of things, but to recognize that in order to give them a place in our lives -- to not run away or dull ourselves to those pains -- we also need what is light and precious and immutable, joyful and urgent and sublime. We need alegrias and rose water and beech trees, sea gulls and skyscrapers and tugboats, roosters and carafes and mountains.