Monday, July 12, 2010

Reclaiming the Joy

Illness takes so much from us. Yes, we can learn about caring and how to distinguish between the essential and the merely important. We can learn about acceptance and compassion for ourself and for our partner. We can become students of our body and listen with a sharper consciousness to its rhythms.

But illness takes so damn much from us. It takes the blissful freedom of ignorance. It takes spontaneity. It takes carelessness. It smashes all the assumptions we hold about moving without pain or fatigue. It takes mindlessness about time passing. It takes intimacy without forethought.

So, how does one reclaim some of this lost territory? How can you find the joy?

For me, I find it in motion. When I have a good day and I can go on a glorious disneyland of a hike in the hills of Marin or New Hampshire, joy rides on my shoulder. When I have a good hour, I drive to the ocean and breathe. When I am hurting and tired of hurting, I sit side-by-side with my sweetie and catch up on episodes of Lost or The Wire.

The joy is not in the grand parade; it's in the moments.

What are your moments of joy?


Toni said...

Your paragraph on what illness takes from us was spot on, Barbara. The word on the list that hit me the hardest was: spontaneity. I never know how I'm going to feel from one day to the next so we can't make any plans. That usually includes spontaneous plans. But on a day when I feel well enough to go for a drive and my husband and I look at each other and say "Let's go!" now that brings me joy!

FridaWrites said...

Being in nature, if I can. Playing board or card games with my kids.

Richard said...

Love the picture! You do one fine job of finding great illustrations!