A friend asked me tonight, “What gives you joy right now?” I like this question. It might be a good one to stop and ask oneself and each other often, maybe daily.

Sitting with this question and a blank mind, the word that comes to me is “sensations.” Such as when I think of my daughter Josi I get certain sensations. I can feel them even running through my arms right now, tiny cellular wiggles of pleasure that come uniquely with thoughts of her. Even just brushing past Arlene in my mind (my other daughter) makes me grin, with a yellow warmth in my belly and something like the taste of triple-cream brie cheese in my mouth. It might last only a second, and might even precede the thought of Arlene, but I always know it is Arleneness. Seeing the pinkish purplish sky through the skeletons of naked trees outlining the mountains each evening at dusk brings a different sensation.

Right now, this moment, my answer to the question is sensations – the particularity of them, the signatures of the multitudes of different kinds, noticing and distinguishing these is consistent joy. It feels like I am the violin that is being played. The music moves through my instrument. Even dark moods have intriguing signatures. Missing my dog is an aching sweetness.

Sensations, my answer for this moment. What about you?

2 Responses to “Joy”

  1. Jerry R. O'Neill Says:

    Yes, joy as sensation, and at its core a graced state of being, a freedom that evokes expressions of bliss!

    I’m thinking of my mother-in-law who on her 75th and 80th birthdays jumped out of a plane for the simple joy of being alive and able to dive into the wide, blue sky.

    Or like Denise Levertov’s poem “The Avowal” on the occasion of George Herbert’s birthday: “…so would I learn to attain freefall, and float into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace knowing no effort earns that all-surrounding grace.”

    Now that’s what I call joy!

  2. Tayria Ward Says:

    Ah, Jerry. I want to be like your mother-in-law! Today and forever. What a pure inspiration. Let’s all jump into the “Creator’s deep embrace!” Thank you.

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