Saturday, April 2, 2011

Joy To The World

I'm not sure what to blog about so I’m just going to share what I’ve been thinking's about joy, I've been thinking alot about joy.

Do you have enough joy in your life?

What do you do that brings you joy?

Right now there are days where for the life of me I can’t think of a single thing that would actually bring me joy – not anything realistic anyway. I mean, winning the lottery would be totally amazing, so would a free trip somewhere exotic. Finishing my novel would surely bring me veritable fits of joy – and maybe someday I’ll get there but for now I’m not even close, so that leaves me pretty much back to square one.

No question, being a mom often does bring me great joy (among other things, lol.) My kids can completely delight me on a regular basis just by being themselves. I'd say delight is right on par with joy. Fulfillment, too, is at least a close relation to joy.  Probably my most fulfilling moments in all of my life have been as a mother.

In the last couple of years or so my other moments of fulfillment have mainly come from writing, in one form or another (the slow progress of my novel not withstanding). I do sometimes find the actual practice of writing itself joyful-ish, to a certain degree. But truth be told it’s also equal parts maddening and agonizing depending on the hour. Apparently I’m in excellent company: I recently read that when Virginia Woolf was asked about her love of writing she retorted that she loved having written.

Still, I do get a thrill writing something profound or witty…I've even had the rare experience of writing something that took my own breath away. However, touching another person in any way with my writing is probably the most profound joy outside of motherhood that I’ve ever known. Those moments can be rather few and far between…occurring just often enough to keep me going, but not nearly often enough to keep me "joyed up" for very long.

The last time I remember actually being joyful for reasons beyond motherhood or writing was…well, I don’t remember but it was no doubt probably before cancer. And I’m also guessing it was fleeting. I think I was regularly happy…happy blogging here, about getting my novel underway, about finding more time for poetry…happy in my marriage, with my children (always) and even getting there about myself. Frequently my life achieved a satisfying rhythm that often brought me a certain amount of contentment…but it’s hard to remember now when looking back thru the lens of cancer if I felt much joy before my diagnosis.

But then again, what is joy anyway? How do you describe it? Is it like pornography, indefinable but you know it when you see it?

Would I still know it if I saw it?

For now joy remains elusive. Happiness is not a frequent visitor either. It was two years ago yesterday since finding the damned lumps and I still feel like I’m in the thick of it. Cancer duties linger…there are scans, appointments, maintenance. Michael now has his own set of appointments, scans and research…he’s the one in a holding pattern now. In between I try to reassemble my life. But I feel like components are missing. Pieces of me were taken away with the scalpel that contained more than flesh, tissue and cancerous tumors. I think they contained some of my capacity for joy.

But I'm still looking for it because you never know.  You just never do.  It could be anywhere.


~Tessa~Scoffs said...

I feel fleeting joy on a regular basis. Does that sound weird? It usually comes when I am driving somewhere. I think perhaps it is that feeling of in-between that brings it bubbling up. Of being on the road to somewhere or something but not quite there... a metaphor for life, no? My children bring me joy, of course. But then again they can also vex me. My marriage brings me (I think the most) joy.

P.S. I'm glad you're blogging and writing again.

Jean said...

I have feelings of contentment more often than those of joy which is a fleeting visitor, but occasionally those moments of joy can sustain me for a while.

Yesterday was mother's day here in the UK, and the beautiful cards with their lovely messages of love made me cry with happiness. But it was later in the day, when my girls where listening to music together and singing along, that was when I felt joy. It filled my heart, and I knew I was lucky to have such wonderful daughters.

I hope you find some joy soon K, you of all people deserve it. Much love to you. xxxx

Enci said...

I remember myseelf, weighted down for days by sorrow- my son' s beautiful little boy mind was being taken from me by a neurological disease that was changing his personality and I daily felt my loss of him. Turning a corner. I saw sun lighting us a tree and something beautiful was in my tape player and for one second - I felt it. Joy flooded me. Like a leaky bucket, I could not contain it or savor it, but I knew it was still there. And that one day I might feel it again.

Kayleigh said...

Tessa, how are you?

I think I know what you mean about fleeting joy on a regular basis, if I really try and transport myself backward in time I think that is probably how I used to feel joy pre-diagnosis...often but shortlived little "joy-ettes" so to speak.

Thank you for the welcome back :)

Kayleigh said...

NSM -- I didn't know there was a different day for Mother's in the UK, Happy belated Mum's Day to you!! What a lovely day it sounds like you had, you truly deserve it :)

I think I know just what you mean...Meggie is a reluctant reader and the other day I spied her on the sofa w/Daniel snuggled up to her as she read him a story. She was struggling here & there, but each time she finally got a difficult word they both beamed, he being patient in listening and her working so hard to read to filled me with such overwhelming love & joy -- words fail.

Bless all our children for those moments, and thank you for sharing, it brought to mind a precious memory that made me smile :D

Kayleigh said...

Enci my dear old friend, I've thought of you and your fam so often, it's good to hear from you.

As usual your words are so poignant to me, I feel many of the emotions you describe, weighted down, deep loss...oh my, and the leaky bucket not being able to hold onto joy, well, that just got me right in the heart. You voice so well much of my feelings. Pain can come from varied wounds but there is a common thread that weaves us together in suffering. I think that thread can also unite us in compassion, and my heart sends endless buckets full to you. Thank you for your comfort, you are remarkable.

Lynn said...

Oh Kaleigh, Thank you so much for coming to my blog. I thank you so very much. I am sitting here crying because I saw you there.
I thank God for your health, and continue to pray for you and your family, and am so so so so happy to see you there, where I often feel so alone. Thank you, Honey!

Kayleigh said...

Karuna -- you are never alone ((((HUGS))))) was a pleasure to go to your blog, such bravery, such honesty, you are made of strong stuff I hope you know.

I'm with ya :)

Lynn said...

Hi Sweetie!
I am so grateful to see you on my blog! And you've shown up a number of times in my gratitudes now!
I am also praying for you and your family every day.

nancyspoint said...

Kaleigh, I understand about the joy thing. Your statement that says, "Pieces of me taken away with the scalpal contained more than flesh, tissue and cancerous tumors," is quite profound. And also, "cancer duties linger." How true. Cancer changes everything doesn't it? It does steal some of our joy, but it can't rob us of our capacity to at least feel some fleeting moments of joy.

Lynn said...

Reading your thoughts about joy is actually a beautiful experience.
Your open sharing - you wording - your way of expressing something we can all relate to. You are, indeed, a writer, dearest one.
I have no answers about joy.
But I believe *time* will help you a *lot!*
I'm sorry you still have cancer duties. And I'm sorry about your husband's holding pattern.
I pray for you, your health, your husband, his health, and the happiness of your whole family every single morning.
Much love,