Monday, September 14, 2009


Sometimes I think of this blog as a scrapbook, and I like take a page and glue related scraps that I come across in life. Tonight's page is themed Joy.

I picked up Rolling Stone magazine the other day, because it had a picture of Stephen Colbert on the cover looking humorously like a homeless guy.

(I didn't notice until just now that the article is titled "The Joy of Stephen Colbert".)

Anyway somewhere in the interview he says that he calls his show "the joy machine". And he also says that if there is joy, God must be present. It's an interesting position for a practicing Roman Catholic whose irreverent humor will go just about anywhere.

But when I read what he said about joy (I wish I'd copied the actual quote), I realized that I believed him, that somehow God is present in his show. There is something really profound, more than just silly, in his grin.


The morning after I read that article, Adam was playing some music on the computer, which it turns out was from a new Phish album, "JOY".


Later that morning I read the following in Anna Deavere Smith's book, "Letters to a Young Artist":

I think that tapping into the sheer joy of whatever it is that you do--that is, when I go onstage, when you enter the studio to paint, when your cousin goes to a ballet class--the sheer joy is what liberates us, opens the senses, the heart, the arteries, so that we feel that strong will to communicate that is greater than any chains we may have.


There is something deep and strong and pure in real joy. C. S. Lewis wrote about this elusive experience that was a strange blend of longing and bliss. He wrote:

"The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting."
--Surprised by Joy

"All joy...emphasizes our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings."
--from an unknown letter

"Joy is the serious business of Heaven."
--Letters to Malcolm

It seems to me that following one's bliss (advice from Joseph Campbell) or joy isn't really about a life of self-indulgence.

Reflecting on this seems to be teaching me about being truthful with myself and my nature, stripping away unnecessary activities, and sincerely following what I was created to be.

Almost like searching to find a clear cold stream in a forest, then following it to the source.

1 comment:

bethany said...

lovely, and exactly what i needed. is there a good night next week for a visit? i could come to you :)