Niki, Clementine & Spenser (by height)
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Complicated can be a word
We could use
To describe this moment.
Along with other words—
Complicated can be one description.
How do we live during a time
Of so many feelings?
So many conflicting feelings.
I found myself walking down
A quiet little dirt road,
Little Nik at my side,
Sniffing and smelling and exploring,
Doing her job.
Me, doing my job/my un-job,
Breathing in the quiet and beauty
With a quiet, internal joy of being.
A gust of wind
Blew over me
And I was
Of the devastation that covers our planet,
The cruelty of civilian suffering,
The rise of authoritarian power.
How can I be walking in this peaceful
Gloriously beautiful Berkshire moment,
While all this unfolds?
How can we embrace all our feelings?
Without denying any of the other feelings,
How do we lean toward joy?
We deserve joy.
No matter what
How do we create
Surely not to deny the horror of this time.
Surely not to spiritually transcend them.
But to honor all of it,
How might we create the circumstances
In which that woosh of joy,
That fills us up,
That flows through
a feeling of extreme gladness, delight, or exultation of the spirit arising from a sense of well-being or satisfaction.
The feeling of joy may take two forms: passive and active. Passive joy involves tranquility and a feeling of contentment with things as they are.
For me, for this wacky-foible-filled human—
For me, here are memories, moments, slivers of joy:
And her friends
Spenser and Clementine
Run like the wind,
Around and around the field,
Flying and darting,
Jumping and swirling
Chasing and catching
From two hundred years ago–
Myself, age 12,
Catching that ground ball
In the JCC gym,
Threw it thoughtlessly
To first base
Rushes of joy
Never to be
We don’t create joy.
We don’t will it.
We don’t force it.
We create the circumstances
Joy is a gift,
Into our bodies
For me, for this wacky foible-filled- human—
For me, to create the circumstances specifically looks like:
- To get outside (essential!)
- To move my body (not-negotiable)
- To have consistency in my day
- To give myself consistency of mealtime, of wake and sleep times
- To be mindful about my intake of news
- To avoid disturbing images
- To hang out with my doggie
- To expand the limits of COVID previous restriction
- To imagine, to intend,
- To commit
- To being
Here are two joy-related opportunities for inspiration.
This first one, oh! I’ve watched it 30 times in three days. It cracks me up, but it’s so much more than funny. It is warm and alive and hopeful and ridiculous and possible—its energy betrays paradox, which is exactly what opens the door for the joy of my heart to filter in.
All feelings deserve our attention. All feelings want to be recognized. Sadness and joy, hopelessness and hope—as we try to shield ourselves from one, the others get muted and blocked.
Here is a brilliant scene from the Pixar movie, Inside, Out. The two characters, Joy and Sadness both comfort Bing Bong in different ways. Check it out below:
Do you have any specific
From decades ago?
What circumstances do you need to create
In your life,
Into which joy
No matter the feelings,
No matter the moment,
May the highest unfold
One moment at a time,
May we continue