Monday, May 19, 2008

Cultivating Joy

I was surfing and came across this blog with the subtitle "cultivating joy." And that got me thinking ...

Most of us expect Joy to happen: no action or effort required. We wade through life wondering when and where Joy will appear; wondering why she has yet to arrive.

When she doesn’t show we drown ourselves in excess: food, alcohol, shopping, career. We hope to coax her out of her den, to lure her with a new pair of shoes. But Joy is shrewd. She doesn’t buy it. She remains in the darkness her wide yellow eyes aglow, a faint hint of glitter sparkling through sable.

And you are afraid. Can you handle her? She’s wild, carnal. She lurks in the periphery then suddenly pounces. You’re her springboard; she strikes then flits away. Flat on your ass and grasping for something no longer there you wonder what hit you. You wonder if you’ll ever see her again.

And how often does Joy wait around the corner, giggling, and shifting from one foot to the next, eagerly anticipating your arrival? When was the last time she crawled under the table and tickled your toes? How long ago did she pick you up and swing you around the room, your feet off the ground in dizzying ecstasy? It all depends on how well you’ve cultivated Joy.

For, you see, Joy is a living vibrant being: a child, a plant, an animal; Joy comes in many forms. But no matter the form she needs to be cultivated, to be fed and watered. She requires constant attention. She likes flowers.

You may spend days sitting at the entrance to her cave, talking, coaxing yet never seeing her. You have to persist. You must lay down the foundation for a solid relationship. Each day bring her an offering: a clean house, a new plant for the garden, a walk in the park, a hot bubbly bath. Journal and record your efforts.

Soon she'll peak out and take a morsel from your hand. But she’s shy. She’ll retreat. Yet day after day she’ll show herself more. Until, finally, at the sight of you, she’ll bound from her den. Purring and rubbing against you she’ll claim you as her own.

With proper care and feeding Joy will remain. She’ll be there, gently purring alongside you, even when life tries to shoo her away. Your relationship will be such that she may grow quiet, she may be subdued but she will never leave you. You will have cultivated Joy.


Bridge said...

THANKS FOR YOUR must be culi9tvated, thank you for reminding me as the last several days have been an exercise in self=loathing.

Honorary Indian said...

Powerful, powerful piece.

I read it several times and gleaned new revelations after doing so each time.


laura said...

Wow... what a beautiful post personifying Joy! Thanks for sharing. And thanks also for dropping by Dolce Pics! Hope to see you around again.

Jaime said...

I am so in love with this post!

I love that idea...each day bring her an offering. What a beautiful way to cultivate joy.

Much love and joy to you. :)

Anonymous said...

A joyful point of view. I try to remember that joy never hides, but that I hide from her. Then I try to forget!

Jen said...

Well said, Shalet, well said.

Carrien said...

YOU reminded me of a song I used to play over and over again by and obscure band called "Out of the Grey"

The song was called Joy

I thought I saw you
in a distant crowd
but then I lost you
in a blur of color
water color clouds

Like deja vu
was that you?

There's more but it eludes me.

My one claim to any kind of fame, and often happy thought is that I know rae irl. I've lived with her and road tripped and shared mattresses and she is absolutely as beautiful a person as she seems in her blog. And very talented.

AscenderRisesAbove said...

your photos are just so breathtaking lovely. a feeling of being antique; steeped in tradition and story. A joy to look at. Cultivating joy as a matter of fact!