Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Yes and joy was just the thing he was raised on..."

Things have been in crisis mode at work for more than a week now and it is exhausting, as I mentioned in an earlier post...

On Monday, I worked for 13 hours (plus the 2 hours of drive time) and collapsed when I got home. When I woke up on Tuesday, I was determined to find a way to make life at least a little more livable. I have purchased Moo cards with nice sayings on them to pass out to people at work and I thought I kind of deserved to have something like that, too (even if I have to do it for myself).

In all my nostalgia in the last couple of weeks, I ordered a couple of the CDs I mentioned in my "37Days: Write to Rembember" post. I spotted one of them on the counter - "An Evening with John Denver" - and I thought I would take it and listen to it at work. I usually don't listen to music at work because there are lots of auditory cues I have to listen for and music is not really an option, but right now, I felt I needed something to get through the day. I popped it in my bag and slogged off to work. When I was a few blocks from home, I decided to pop the CD in my car and listen on the way (instead of politics in the morning...I'm getting more and more depressed and panicked). Two notes into the first song and I started BAWLING. I had skipped to the song, "Matthew", which has always been one of my favorites. I tried others - "Grandma's Feather Bed", "Eagle and the Hawk", "Rocky Mountain High" - but I just kept bawling. Not just tears. Like BAWLING.

So I didn't bring the CD in to work. When I left work last night, I listened to it again and felt much better, but I was struck by a couple of lines. One line from "Matthew" - "yes, and joy was just thing he was raised on. Love was just the way to live and die. Gold is just a windy Kansas wheat field. Blue is just a Kansas summer sky." I cried again. This time it was not just a stress reaction or being tired. I realized how far away from that feeling I am. That I see the world as being really far away from that, too. I was raised on joy, too. Parents who played games and traveled and read and laughed. We didn't worry about the school levy not passing or the economy crashing or our cell phones, email, computer. I didn't know aobut my dad's job that much and my mom was home but she didn't run us to eight thousand different activities. Sometimes I wish I knew how to play the piano or how to dance. But we had FUN.

I miss FUN. And Joy. What happened to JOY? I have great moments of joy and that counts..."Buffy", Indian Food with Kevin, BookFest, theatre, music...But I remember joy. I remember life that was about seeking joy - not pleasure - joyful moments. I don't seek it anymore. I am just surprised when it pops up. The lack of seeking seems wrong to me, somehow. It seems to defeat the purpose of "Life is a Verb" and I want to change that. It really impacted me yesterday - just thinking about a life that is solely focused on work and a few distractions.

One of the other songs, "Annie's Other Song", has an introduction where he said, "The purpose of my music has always been to communicate the joy that I find in living and what is so about my life..." So, I am going to find joy - seek joy, and I will try to communicate it here. I think that is what I was trying to do by starting this blog, but it has taken me all this time to figure it out...each video or bit of music or photo has been something that touched me or moved me or made me laugh...that's the start of joy. Recognizing it. Embracing it.

I guess if being exhausted brings a touch of insight, perhaps all this chaos and craziness and crisis at work has been worth it to get me to this point.

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