A gal in my NVC (non-violent communication) learning community recently turned me on to “The Book of Qualities” by J. Ruth Gendler. I ordered myself a copy and yesterday I came home to a thin and lite weight package on my door step.
Last night I experienced wonder and intrigue and a good laugh (I work for “Urgency”) as I became acquainted with the many characters in this book. I felt most akin to “Joy” and tonight, as I drank in “Commitment,” a deep and resonant “whoa” traveled through my vocal cords and out my mouth.
Let me share with you my discovery so you can experience the impact for yourself.
Joy drinks pure water. She has sat with the dying and attended many births. She denies nothing. She is in love with life, all of it, the sun and the rain and the rainbow. She rides horses at Half Moon Bay under the October moon. She climbs mountains. She sings in the hills. She jumps from the hot spring to the cold stream without hesitation.
Although Joy is spontaneous, she is immensely patient. She does not need to rush. She knows that there are obstacles on every path and that every moment is the perfect moment. She is not concerned with success or failure or how to make things permanent.
At times Joy is elusive — she seems to disappear even as we approach her. I see her standing on a ridge covered with oak trees, and suddenly the distance between us feels enormous. I am overwhelmed and wonder if the effort to reach her is worth it. Yet, she waits for us. Her desire to walk with us is as great as our longing to accompany her.
Commitment has kind eyes. He wears sturdy shoes. Everything is very vivid when he is around. It is wonderful to sit and have lunch in his gardens around harvest time. You can taste in the vegetables that the soil has been cared for.
Because commitment is so serious, he loves clowns and balloons and fools and limericks. He has four daughters, grown now, but when they were little they always took him to the circus.
There is something special about the way Commitment gazes at the new moon. I wish I knew how to explain it. He is such a simple man, and yet he is mysterious. He is more generous than most people. His heart is open. He is not afraid of life. He is married to Joy.