August 28, 2015

“The joy in your heart is not the one you’re most after. There are many of these joys, many places it may lodge, many ways it presents itself to you; and you know the heart joy, you know that singing and that emptiness. But there is joy in all manner of other places, in all manner of other things. There is hand joy, the way the touching of the earth and all of its parts sends the singing through the fingers and brightens up the mind; that is touch joy, a feeling type. But there is also knowledge joy, the mind lighting up with a kind of contentment that can be derived only from the truth, the joy of wisdom as it permeates the psyche and things are seen properly and, so, seen joyfully. There is a joy in the languishing of a slow afternoon and a joy, too, in the furious pace of running towards what we love. These are time joys, the way we find, as moment travels one to the next, the perfection in the pace and we meld so whole-beingly with the perfection of that pace that the experience is joy. And there is speech joy: There is the saying of the thing which so must be said that its utterance is sheer elevated relief and happiness, the joy that expression becomes when it is perfect for the time and the being and the inner life it gives voice to. And all these joys—for there are so many more—are joy because they are the perfect union of the incomplete and faulted thing that we are with the whole and blemishless thing that everything is. And it is this marriage, this union of piece with whole, this perfect union of stained with pure, that is joy, that makes joy and simply surrenders to it at the same time.

Seek the multi-faceted, thousand-limbed joy and nothing smaller. Seek the unconfined stretched-to-the-limit joy and do not settle for only a little. Seek joy with all the parts of you where you thought joy was, by nature, excluded. It is excluded from nowhere and it is needed by every aspect of the person; every ache, every secret, every hidden longing both reaches for joy and has that potential right in the heart of its experience. We are beings of this potential. Every part of our form gives us a new chance at joy, and we are incomplete without it. That is why we long for it so deeply; we cannot be satisfied without it. So stretch yourself into the mind’s joy, the body’s joy, the joy that is in the pain and the darkness as surely as it is in the easier times. Stretch into all of the joys. Stretch to meet them, to make them your own, to be as you have created yourself to be, a being who is bound for this freedom, this joy.”


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