Friday, January 1, 2021

Word of the Year 2021: Joy

My newborn. Some decades ago.
My newborn. Some decades ago.

Joy alights on us for an instant, an hour, maybe a day. 

A sweet ambush of fragrance from a flowering tree

A vista that grabs your breath

A communal dance, thrumming with a primordial beat

A companionable walk with a loved one, arms entwined 

The slow-motion grace of a heron gliding over a long ribbon of water

A narcotic rush of soaring energy that arcs from your spirit to another's - that first time you lock eyes with your newborn - or that first moment you discover - surprise! - you are in love with a partner

No matter what else might be happening - to me, to the people in my circles, or around the world - I can watch out for moments of joy. 

 I can gobble them up guilt-free, for otherwise, they will go to waste, and that would be a sin. 


I like these quotes that touch on joy

Attention! Here and now, boys, here and now.  From Island, by Aldous Huxley

Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy. By William Butler Yeats

Make a joyful noise upon the Lord ... From the Old Testament of the Bible, which I apply enthusiastically to the joys of dance and music

We have been speaking to you of serious, sometimes tragic things. We have been dealing with alcohol in its worst  aspect.  But  we  aren’t  a  glum  lot.  If  newcomers  could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want  it.  We  absolutely  insist  on  enjoying  life. From the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book

This, too, shall pass. A 12-step slogan that applies not only to bad things that are happening, but to good things that are happening, too. So when something joyful appears, I need to savor it like a stunning sunset, as it is transitory. 

Music that gives me joy

Spring, in Vivaldi's Four Seasons, does something to my brain chemistry. It induces joy. 

Here is a performance produced by Voices of Music, featuring Alana Youssefian.






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