I’ve returned to blogging recently. I love my need to write but I hate my need to be read. So, in trying to shake off the conflict, I’m reading more. It’s an attempt to expand my mind as opposed to narcissistically dwelling in it.
Step away from the table of contents.
Today, my reading material consisted of the Holocaust and the upcoming 14th anniversary of 9/11 (hard to believe). To lighten the mood, I got caught up on the Bolshevik Revolution. And now here I sit, sleepless and questioning so many of the things I once knew as certainties.
Question du jour: is joy a spiritual reward?
Or is access to it innate and then once realized, must it be practiced regularly? Or is it results oriented? Do we earn joy like old school S&H Green Stamps or bonus points for knowing the proper way to pronounce Ibiza in Catalan?? How closely is it related to faith? Does an atheist experience the same kind of joy as a Levite Jew? As a war-weary Syrian hell bent on seeing her homeland from an infrequent over the shoulder glance? As a one one percenter in America? As an ambidextrous Portuguese butcher who’s also a vegetarian AND a Scorpio???? Can a scholar sense joy as someone unschooled, lay people as opposed to a proverbial keeper to the flock???
i can’t help but feel that joy is as ironic as it is elusive. For some people, anyway. It’s a conscious effort that has to be based on life experience. Can you exist in a death camp simply for being Jewish while still being as devout as you were before imprisonment? Can Mass be celebrated on a battle field?
Life experience must play a part, right? It has to be. I don’t know what it’s like to drink Cristal on my own Lear jet, heading to exotic ports of call. I don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager in Peshawar. I don’t know how it feels to be an Israeli who must make daily trips to a bomb shelter, a Katrina surviver, a gay firefighter in Poughkeepsie, a male model, a Vietnam vet or a red-head for that matter.
I think joy is a conscious effort, that try as you might, can’t be a constant factor. Perhaps one cam claim to experience joy most of the time, la the Duggarrs, formerly on TLC, currently on every tabloid in every check out aisle. Can joy run on a continuous loop?
Joy, I reckon, must have an opposing force, you know, like a certain duality such as sweet and salty, hot and cold. It must be an emotion of extremes. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to recognize it as what it is (joy) or what it isn’t (sorrow). Okay, fine but Is there a middle ground? Can you be content but not necessarily joyful per se? Is love a product of joy or a necessary component needed to experience it? Are love and joy one in the same?
Do I attempt to answer my own questions by asking them? A question is safer than a declarative, is it not?
Wow. You do not want to have an existential crisis on a balmy Saturday morning when Mopheus ignores you and you have 600 TV channels, 579 of which pay their bills with early hour infomercials on over priced hair care products or something called “a giant ladder system”.
I’d rather watch a test pattern.