Moment of Joy – a daily project

It’s the human experience that we’re fighting for … so that life is not defined primarily, for so many people, by suffering in violence and hardship, but actually that thing that all of us possess — which is this incredible capacity for joy and beautyImani Perry at On Being

Write about one moment of joy in my life, daily, for an entire year, even when I struggle to find something to be joyful about. This is the task that I am setting out for myself as I explore the concept of ‘Joy’.

I barely know what it means but I shall take it to mean something that puts a little warmth and smile in my heart. I am not by nature a ‘happy person’ and as I am going through a difficult time of life right now, this will be a challenge. I don’t know where these ‘joys’ are but I’m sure they exist. They have to. 

This will be as much an exercise in writing as it will be an exercise in noticing and feeling. To do this, I will need to muster the courage to embrace the audacity of joy in the face of hardship. I shall squint my eyes and my heart to seek the simple beautiful moments that exists in daily life. I will train my muscles to acknowledge and reflect upon happiness, no matter what size they may be. I want to notice these fluttering glimpses of delight and celebrate them and challenge my blindness to them in recent years. By the grace and will of a greater power, I pray to be given the strength and wisdom to not give up on this exercise, and hopefully emerge a different person when I reflect back on all this next year.


Ground Zero

It is 11:00pm on New Year’s Eve of 2019. I am sitting in a hospital room with a deafening silence which is only broken by the periodic beeping from the monitoring machine that has been preset to measure a patient’s vitals at regular intervals. It is a cold place. One that could not be warmed by the yellow-orange lights shining on the desk, not by the wooden laminate finish in a room that I could only afford thanks to adequate insurance coverage, not by the view of the city that is on offer through the tall windows. The sight of a loved one asleep, spent from battling pain for the past couple of days and succumbing to the chemicals being pumped through her veins is heartbreaking and strangely reassuring at the same time. The peacefulness of the room is piercingly sterile.

The potent melancholy of the clinical environment and the looming new decade invited me to reflect on the previous one, and I saw a life that was better than I had ever imagined it to be, while concurrently being the worst nightmare I could ever have. I travelled on my timeline and saw my career taking amazing uncharted routes and my heart being filled with love and joy that I never knew existed. However, as I got closer to present day, the highs to be grateful for were slowly taken over by the devastation of having my closest ones stricken by illness and losing my mental health to unseen darkness. I found myself with scar tissues all over, standing in a blackened debris of broken dreams and my obliterated self. 2019 felt like the year I was reduced to my ground zero. 

Barn’s burnt down –nowI can see the moon.
Haiku by Mizuta Masahide

It was in these ruins that I stumbled upon a wisdom that implored me to look up and see the full moon above. When I celebrated my birthday in November, I committed to nourish myself and it is that intention that I carry with me as I plant my hopes for 2020 and the decades beyond. It is from this place that I am writing these words. It is from here that I am committing to a journey of inquiry into the inner and outer worlds of my human life.

This is the origin story of this personal blog, an old-school traditional weblog starkly outmoded in this 20s era. I hope for it to serve as a record of my learning, un-learning, and re-learning. I hope for it to be a public commonplace journal for ideas, wisdom, and curiosities uncovered in my mental and physical expeditions. It is a facility where I keep an ongoing record of thoughts and experiences encountered in my questioning for what it means to live a fulfilling life.

I am writing all this as a labour of love and not for an audience. But if you, a stranger who have stumbled upon this have stayed around for these words, I sincerely hope you found something useful for your own your journeys and that you be well.