Joy

Over and over again I sail towards joy, which is never in the room with me, but always near me, across the way, like those rooms full of gayety one sees from the street, or the gayety in the street one sees from a window. Will I ever reach joy? It hides behind the turning merry-go-round of the traveling circus. As soon as I approach it, it is no longer joy. Joy is a foam, an illumination. I am poorer and hungrier for the want of it. When I am in the dance, joy is outside in the elusive garden. When I am in the garden, I hear it exploding from the house. When I am traveling, joy settles like an aurora borealis over the land I leave. When I stand on the shore I see it bloom on the flag of a departing ship. What joy? Have I not possessed it? I want the joy of simple colors, street organs, ribbons, flags, not a joy that takes my breath away and throws me into space alone where no one else can breathe with me, not the joy that comes from a lonely drunkenness. There are so many joys, but I have only known the ones that come like a miracle, touching everything with light.
Anais Nin, December 1939 (from – Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, 1939 – 1945).

One thought on “Joy

  1. ‘He who binds to himself a joy
    Doth the winged life destroy
    He who kisses the joy as it flies
    Doth live in eternity’s sunrise.’
    A friend read this blog post and reminded me of ‘Eternity’ by William Blake. So appropriate today as I said farewell to a dear friend at her funeral service.

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