Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Joy

(Tenth post in the A to Z Challenge)



Joy is a marvelous increasing of what exists, a pure addition out of nothingness. - Rilke
Myth often takes us into dark places. Drama demands yearning and loss. But even infernos have dynamics. Let us not forget the joy as well.
Oh gather it, Angel, that small-flowered herb of healing. Create a vase and preserve it.  - Rilke
Joy does not come to us as easily as it should. A noise distracts. Responsibilities demand. Excuses comfort. This brings resiliency, perhaps, but at a cost.

We cannot command joy, but we can cultivate it. We can emphasize it. We can praise it.
Make a joyful noise... make a loud noise...
We sing to become Idols, but fame is not joy. Or sufficient. Not even for Achilles. Just as well, because fame beckons only a few. Ignored by glory, we instead turn to
light intellectual, full of love,
love of true good, full of joy,
joy that surpasses every sweetness.
- Paradiso, Canto XXX
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So what brings you joy?

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Rilke reminds me of the joy of re-reading. The first time I read him, I didn't get it at all. I picked up Sonnets to Orpheus because I was interested in Orpheus and didn't find what I was expecting. His is a subtler, softer mythic mode.

I gave him another try a year later when I found a used copy of Duono Elegies for fifty cents. This time it hit me in a completely different way. Thus my policy: Give up on books that don't catch your interest, but be willing to revisit.

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Some joyful smiles from the blog mascot's chihuahua-mix cousins:



And a (repeat) joyful smile from the blog mascot:

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May your day be joyful. May we disprove that April is the cruellest month...

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20 comments:

  1. It's a toss-up between:

    Jumping out of an airplane (haven't done it in years)

    and,

    "Uncle Kelly! I missed you." hug "Do you have gum?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not bold enough to jump out of an airplane, but I can see how it'd be exhilarating.

      Nor am I an uncle, but that second one sounds pretty good as well.

      Delete
  2. "We cannot command joy, but we can cultivate it."

    Yeah, that's pretty much on target. And my dog is the epitome of joy when she's out on a walk. Happy, happy dog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "my dog is the epitome of joy"

      Yeah, dogs are fantastic at capturing this in a very pure form.

      Delete
  3. Indeed, may we. A lovely J post, Hektor.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very thoughtful post. I like your statement "Joy does not come to us as easy as it should."

    Nice to meet you, and I hope you're enjoying the Challenge!

    KarenG
    A to Z Challenge Host

    ReplyDelete
  5. "We cannont command joy, but we can cultivate it." I like that. I'm going to remember it. Joy comes from being your authentic self, delving in the gifts you were given and sharing them.

    Play off the Page

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's definitely easy to let life itself distract your from the joys of life. Love the pictures of the dogs because the thing that consistently brings me joy in my life is my dogs. They're just so silly and happy all the time, how can they not make you feel joyful watching them?

    Wishing you continued success with the A to Z challenge,
    Jocelyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree with you on the dogs. Though right now mine are barking at the electrician next door, so the joy's a little dimmer than usual... :)

      Delete
  7. My pups bring me joy every day. When I'm alone, they're always with me. And they love me unconditionally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think mine might only love me conditionally -- good thing I play one heck of a game of fetch!

      Delete
  8. What brings me joy? Ummm, friends, family, great food, music, and my kittehs! :)

    Nice post, cute doggies :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Friends, family, food, music and kittens are all good choices (though I've never had the last one).

      Delete
  9. Family and friends are definitely a joy! So are all the little things in life - a good song on the radio just when I need it, a great book to escape into, a summer night when all you can see are stars and all you can hear are crickets. :)

    ReplyDelete

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