Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Joy: The Art of Soaking It In

When was the last time you felt joy? Pure, clear, heart totally full joy?

I can remember being on the water in downeast cand coming up on a shoal where there were seals and suddenly a bald eagle landed, not more than 5 feet from me. I was alone, with the seals and eagle, not a sound but the wind and water.

It was glorious. Tears came to my eyes.

When Zachary did his presentation about Thomas Becket, and answered a question about religion and the king with an awareness about society and fairness that simply blew me away. I thought to myself, this boy has an old soul.

When I watch Jake play his harp- his concentration and the beauty of the sound. For those few minutes, everything seems to stop for me. He cannot help but be musical. It is sweet to see his mother's genes shine through- although he is into improv and she is most definitely not.

When Ben was dancing at the Black Eyed Peas concert. He had been unhappy and struggling for so long, to see his happiness, filled my heart. His body moved, arms pumping in the air, his pals surrounding him- music touches him on a level I don't always appreciate. I did that night.

At that same concert, looking around during the song "Where is the Love?" and seeing thousands of arms in the air waving in unison to a song that is about social justice (remember when the Peas were about social justice?), I felt a huge lump in my throat. Look, I said to my friend standing next to me, it's amazing. It's about love and Jesus, and humanity.

The last time Jeanine and I made love and she held me after and said the words I love you, Sara, something I hear daily, a million times over but following the intensity and connection it felt like the first. It was the safest place in the world, in her arms, in that moment.

All were moments of pure joy. A friend had asked me if I thought we leave our bodies during intense joy and happiness the way we do during trauma. For a long time, I could not remember feeling joy, minus the days my children were born.

Perhaps, on some level, I do leave my body. It is so hard to take in, to accept and cherish. Or maybe I'm too afraid to take it in fully.

I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sometimes? It doesn't.

As I go into my week long trip with Ben and Jake, I am going to be mindful of joy. All too often the familiarity of pain and anxiety keeps me seeing the good.

There is much joy in my life. I think I simply need to learn the art of soaking it in.


Blogger Ms. Moon said...

Do you know why I keep coming back to your blog? It is because of posts like this which say what I, too, feel.
We have a lot in common, you and I.
I hope this trip is one in which you can feel much joy. Because if it's there and you don't, it's sort of saying a big old F**k You! to the universe, isn't it?
And we would not want to do that.
(See? I've given you permission to feel joy by making you feel guilty. Did it work?)

9:46 PM  
Blogger Lez Zorba said...

This post makes me think about joy despite the anxiety and fear that we all seem to have to greater and lesser degrees. Feeling joy in the face of all manner of stress. I am wondering if that is maturity or if not that, if it is one trick that contributes to happiness (which, to me is different than joy).

4:39 PM  

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