JOY | SORROW RING
There is an ancient saying that there are 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. During our lives, we will all experience both, in more of a balance than most of us can bear to accept.
At first, the thought went against everything I’d learned from the fairytales I grew up with. A life “half-full of sorrow” didn’t sound very “happily ever after” to me.
I had this notion that I should be working towards ALL JOY. That the goal was never to be sad or experience pain and that winning in life was to come out unscathed by sorrow.
But I’ve experienced enough life now to know, in my bones, those sugar-coated happy endings were a myth.
The truth is, a life lived whole and with an open heart comes brimming with joys AND riddled with sorrows.
Sorrows can be everything from little annoyances to deep wounds. But dealing with and healing from those experiences alone, with help, and in the community has been hard-earned wisdom, growth, and the most profound love I now can’t say I’d trade for more joy.
I’ve realized how much I add these questions to the burden of sorrow — “Why is it here? What is it for? What did I do to deserve this?” When it simply is part of the human experience. Any “get out of jail free cards” we use to keep us from the sorrow equally numb us to the joy.
The more I paid attention, the more the quote resonated, replacing those questions with a reminder to feel and experience BOTH the joy AND the sorrow. The fullness of life doesn’t come from shirking either one.
Borrowing from the ancient Roman’s depiction of the number 10,000 (X̅) and the concept of 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows from the ancient Taoists and Buddhists, I created this ring as a reminder of the human experience of both—a simple raised X for joy, a simple stamped X for sorrow.
A reminder that when in joy, savor it for the gift that joy is. And when in sorrow, do not push it away, but sit with it, do not make more or less of it, but accept it as part of this very human experience and embrace the fluctuation between.
Made by hand in our south Louisiana studio.
Each piece varies slightly due to its handmade nature.
*Note: Sterling Silver and 14k Gold prices may vary due to fluctuation in the gold and silver markets.