Posted by: terrapraeta | June 19, 2009

Living In Joy

Don’t say what you mean
You might spoil your face
If you walk in the crowd
You won’t leave any trace
It’s always the same
You’re jumping someone else’s train

It won’t take you long
To learn the new smile
You’ll have to adapt
Or you’ll be out of style
It’s always the same
You’re jumping someone else’s train

The Cure, Jumping Someone Else’s Train

Two years ago, when I left “my honey”, there were a number of direct and indirect reasons behind my decision. I came to realize that we did not have compatible goals and aspirations: we would talk about things and seem to be on the same page, but when it came to actualization, he always retreated; we would come to philosophical agreements and then he would act in ways that diametrically opposed our conversations; he was too afraid of being “poor” to act on any possibility that he didn’t feel was virtually assured. But the ultimate, defining cause of our separation was a belief on my part that there was something absolutely fundamental that I was looking for in life that he could never, ever provide. Joy.

That’s not to say that we were never happy. Of course we were or we wouldn’t have been together for fifteen years. But happiness is a momentary experience. It comes and goes with ones changing moods, activities, interests and relationships. This was something else and I tried like hell to explain it to him, but I don’t know if he ever truly understood. I know that he did not then. I like to hope that he may have since come closer, but I have no real knowledge of where his life has gone in the intervening years.

I wrote to him, then, trying to express this idea of joy that I had:

I asked you a couple of weeks ago when the last time you felt joy was. The exact details of your answer didn’t really matter – the point was that you had to think about it and find a moment in time that specifically applied. It was a special thing. Before, I would have done the same thing. Sought out some moment that was better than most and then applied that label: joy, to the experience. But you know, that’s not really what I am talking about here. It’s decidedly not the special moments, it’s living with each moment special in and of itself. Regardless of circumstance or activity or companionship. Simply engaging life in all it’s complexity and beauty.

When we separated, this was my goal. To find a place in the world where I could live this ideal. Where I could leave behind my depressions and my anxieties about things that rarely actually matter: where I could live in now time, truly experiencing the wonders this world has to offer. Perhaps this sounds like an unrealistic goal, but I had seen this world, I had lived in it for a short time, and I very much wanted to stay.

I can’t say that I have done a very good job. Since I moved to Colorado, I have found pieces of the puzzle, but I have also been relentlessly distracted from my goal. I’ll be telling those stories over the next few weeks. The most important thing, right now, is that I’ve been reminded, once more, that this IS my goal, and it is a worthy goal and I absolutely refuse to let it go again.

Rephrased by a friend of mine: “Life is good. No matter how much shit happens, life is still good.” I would add to that: this is not simply that life is good overall, but, in fact, every precious moment, even when the worst things are happening, are absolutely, indefinably, good. This is living in joy…………….



  1. Joy is what we live for. Well, most do. I do, but I also live for you. Maybe one day you’ll understand that, maybe not. But know that you brought into my life and shown me what ‘Joy’ truely is.

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