The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Joy! What is it Good For? Absolutely Somethin'!

        Recently I had an electronic conversation with a writer friend. They were sharing how much social media work--work that is devoid of joy--it takes to promote a book. This writer does appreciate their success (several published books and a mob of loyal followers) but occasionally (as we all do) they lose sight of their joy.

        When I watch my dog race around the backyard, chasing after a frisbee or a squirrel (thankfully, the squirrels always allude him), I think of the joy Radar experiences all the time. Being petted results in him wiggling his rear end in excitement. Just the sound of our key turning in the lock when we get home... and he's turning tight, fast circles of anticipation. If we say "blinky ball" (his ball that lights up and squeaks) he's like an unstoppable horse as he heads for the backdoor.

        Radar knows nothing but joy. It's something he experiences all the time. He's decided that life is nothing but one big party... and he's the guest of honor.

        Last night we went and heard Compton Heights Concert Band play. It was their last summer concert. These are free, and are held every Sunday and Monday during the summer.

       Every summer they have Hugh Smith join them. Smith is a tenor--one that I enjoy. What's the connection with joy and some guy who sings? Last night, it was obvious how much he was enjoying himself as he sang. Yes, there are tenors who are way more famous than Smith. And yes, he may never be remembered as one of the greats. But when he sings, he's joyous.

       It reminded me of one of my favorite Harry Chapin songs--a song that never made it on the radio waves. "Mr. Tanner" tells the story of a singer who loved singing, then his joy was taken away... You have to listen to the song to find out what happened. (If you want to skip Chapin's intro to his band, go to the two-minute mark.)





      What brought you joy today? Or yesterday? Or last week?






14 comments:

  1. Joy last week was following online my first son's cross-country race with his college solar car team. Joy this week is spending as much time as I can with my second son before we cart him off to college and change our lives forever.

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    1. Val--I know you will (probably) shed some tears when The Pony is gone. But the joy you feel when it's just you and Hick--24/7--will be... uh, well... enjoy your retirement.

      (I hear The Devil's Playground is hiring part-timers.)

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  2. Your title made me smile! I started to sing it to the tune of another song... Kudos for putting a positive spin on it! I so very much agree about the importance of joy in our lives. I think we can find it in the most unlikely places! My joy is also in my dog...the only child still in the nest! And, when any of my children call or text me, my day becomes filled with joy! When I hit green lights on the way to work, or I find a treasure at the thrift store or am lucky enough to bring a smile to the face of another...I feel joy. Thanks for the great post!

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    1. We used to sing that song--along with many other golden "oldies"--and the kids loved it.

      Thrift store treasures--love 'em. Hitting the traffic lights perfectly--perfect. And of course our kids.

      Thanks, NoExcuses, for reminding me of joy I can find today.

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  3. Joy is my cat drooling all over me with affection when I return from vacation. I find joy in nature, especially near water. I also find joy in stillness, but love being with people, if that makes sense.

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    1. Linda--It IS love when our pets (like Kitty No-No) miss us when we're away. I hope your vacation was delightful.

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  4. I love Harry Chapin, but never heard that particular song, so thanks! Joy today was time spent talking to my three kids, each in a different conversation at different times. They make me so happy. :) Yesterday it was hammering out another thousand words on my WIP...I'm in the last chapter! You'll hear more joy when I type "The End" in a couple of days. This one was hard, long labor. But I'm so excited to be nearing an end to the first draft. The truth is, I love it when joy comes unexpectedly---the surprises that make my heart jump. Sometimes it's a visit from one of my kids, sometimes it's something funny or sweet that my cat does (or my dogs), and sometimes it's just a beautiful sky that reminds me how small I am. It's easy to lose sight of that stuff when we bury our heads in the muck.

    And then, of course, there's the beach. The ocean calms me like nothing else. *sigh*

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    1. Lisa--Are you going to give us ANY clues about this about-to-be-finished WIP?

      No clues?

      None?

      Really?

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  5. Spending time with the new grand-baby means JOY!

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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    1. Pat--I agree. Grandbabies are incredible.

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  7. I had to stop and comment on this post, too! I LOVE Hugh Smith! I'm pretty sure I saw him at his very first time in St. Louis....quite a few years ago. He sang at the Christmas show with the St. Louis Symphony at Powell Hall. He came on toward the end and introduced as a newcomer, if I remember correctly. I'm not sure what kind of voice I expected, but when he opened his mouth and sang, I almost stood up and yelled "Bravo" before he finished the first bar! :)
    I also love Harry Chapin, but hadn't heard this song, either. My favorite of his is "Taxi." It just does something to me. I find it hauntingly beautiful....such a sad story. Another great post! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Ah, Harry Chapin. The voice of a time ... A unique talent.

    Joy can be elusive and then - Wham! - right between the eyes! and it seems like it was always there.

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  9. I loved Harry Chapin! He actually came into the restaurant where I worked in NY. He was a nice man!

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