The subject of joy comes up, spurred by a Twitter post this morning from a young writer I follow who asked her followers “I need some joy in my life this morning, share something that’s bringing you some”. This is a person who is ENORMOUSLY successful for her age, and that success brings pressures and chaos.
Running parallel this morning are a couple Facebook posts …
Sometimes I go to my happy place
Where I can punch people in the face
And there are puppies.
… and …
I need a leaf blower
But for people.
And these posts are from people I actually know! All this comes with the backdrop of the 9/11 reminiscences spilling today like H2O from a burst water tank. A pallor of the undertoad hangs over everything today.
Which DOES beg the issue of joy. How does one cultivate and maintain a sense of contentment when the world around them is angry, hateful and vengeful? Or at best, ambivalent?
Standard answers to this question, of course, is that happiness is an internal, not an external, condition; without going all Carlos Castaneda, one has to decide to be happy, to feel joy, and damn all that which stands in the way. Find something within and build on it. Wall out the external unpleasantries.
Which is unobtainable, and maladaptive when partially achieved.
I’m thinking balance emerges in the juxtaposition between joy and depression. Between those peaks live both mania and wisdom, each mindful of the other. Your choice.
* * *
Today’s post comes from the back end of Busch Stadium in St. Louis, the gate facing the interstate. Cardinal fans, once again experiencing inexplicable success rooted in their pact with Satan, may recognize the scene. Talk about depression …
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.