All of the to-be-had-joy—
crammed like scribbled prayers
into every crevice of the
effervescent ever newlywed world—
can all be known
(every last and little bit of it)
in one tick of the second hand—
the entire tank of cosmic joy
flushed in one rush through a soul
wholly open to seeing the being one is,
one is in, from within it, as one is,
and there is no other joy than this.
All else is imitation,
shards of the imagination.
Gladly this download,
this dam break,
loud down cataract,
this sheer fact of the
onslaught of inexhaustible joy
can be repeated, second by second,
converging miniscule in the blink of an open eye
at magnitudes only saints seem to beckon,
only fools keep telling us to try.
As I was sitting on the shore of Lake Chabot today reading Christian Wiman's beautiful new collection of poems about joy, I suddenly desired to enter into the conversation with a poem of my own. It struck me, watching the beauty of the wind on the lake, that joy can only and ever be experienced in the present moment, and that by being present to it. If joy can only known in the present moment, it follows that all the joy there is to be had must be available in the flash of that one moment. It follows that sensations of joy from memories or from hoped for things turn out to be echoes of joy, but not joy itself. The stunning thought that follows is that all the joy I can ever hope to experience is theoretically available to me right NOW as I type these words, as you read these words, as you and I get up to go engage that next act of being in line for us. Is that possible? And if it is, why are we prone to live lives of such diminished joy?
Photo Credit: HSchmider at Pixabay.com: CCO Common Creative License