Years ago, a small boy in a small town dropped to his knees at my feet, lifted his hands to the sky and yelled at the top of his lungs, ‘I’m going to DIE!!!!’.
It was Halloween. It was snowing. His mittens were at home and his hands were cold.
And then my son said ‘B… gives full size candy bars!’ and they were both off and running, immanent drama forgotten. Until they came back and this little boy dropped to his knees again.
He had my full understanding and complete sympathy with the drama.
Years ago when my parents married, our new family needed a bigger house. In the process I realized I was going to be irrevocably torn from my boyfriend.
I was nine. He was my boyfriend because he always tried to catch just me when we played horses. You know, in the playground at school, where girls are the horses and boys are the horse thieves. And here I was being forced to move.
I knew I’d never, ever be happy again. How, you might ask, can I remember back that far? Because I wrote in my little diary ‘I’ll NEVER EVER BE HAPPY AGAIN!’
Yes, I wrote it in all caps. I meant it. So much, that when we moved I took my favorite pajamas and hid them behind the bedroom door. I planned to sob uncontrollably in the new house, knowing my parents would move us back. Those pj’s are probably still behind that door.
So yes, I understood the drama. Have I outgrown it?
Of course not. What self-respecting writer doesn’t live in drama? How else can we give it to our characters?
A couple days ago I was feeling overwhelmed and discouraged with the editing process of the current work in progress. At that point it was the worst thing ever written, etc., etc., etc. So did I get to work editing?
No. Instead I told my husband I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt joy.
And thought, I should write a blog post about joy. Not happiness, but true, deep, joy that makes you feel almost incandescent. I’d been thinking about the difference between happiness and joy after I heard a speaker ask if what gave us joy aligned with what we did. I thought I could write about how joy has been missing for a long time.
Or so it felt at that moment.
My husband knows me very well. Instead of laughing, he said all the wonderful supportive things that needed to be heard.
This morning I drove to work very slowly. Luckily I was the only car on the highway. The music was blasting, it was just beginning to get light so the snow was glowing, and…guess what? I looked at the high mountains and the trees and thought, there’s a little incandescence glowing inside at all that beauty. I kind of think my inner joy was laughing at me.
So instead of writing a blog about joy, I decided I better write about the little dramatic child who occasionally drops to her knees and raises her hands to the sky.
She’s alive and doing well.