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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Buried Treasure

As promised, Coffee Lovers, I will be talking about a funny little phenomenon called joy this week. You'll notice right away that I call it a phenomenon and not an emotion. That is simply because I have never known any joy in my life that was emotionally logical. Emotions tend to have reasons behind them. They tend to be reactions to events. But joy is something else entirely.

I was never much a fan of pirate stories as a little kid. I was too busy reading about witches, wizards, and elves. Pirates never waved wands nor did they speak in corrupted Latin, so I wasn't really interested. Little did I know that many years later I would spend two weeks thinking about pirates and buried treasure incessantly. The only reason for this odd shift in thoughts for me is that I started thinking about joy.

I thought about it. I wrote a poem about it. I read poems about it. I listened to songs about it. And I came to conclusion: it's buried treasure! It's shining, priceless, old and glorious gold hidden in a seemingly normal, ordinary, wooden chest.

I find my joy in very small things. I feel joyful around candles in dark rooms, when I wake up to the radio and dance around my room as I get dressed. I find joy in ukuleles and in pure, unfiltered honey. I know of few joys greater than that of crisp autumn wind and golden leaves. There is a certain joy in thunderstorms on dark, spooky nights.

Let me be clear, these things do not just make me happy. They give me a strange, warm, glowing feeling that I have come to call joy. I do not know if my joy is equivalent to yours, nor am I worried that my joy insufficient. I smile when I smell a rose, not because roses smell sweet, but because they make me feel light, warm and buoyant - that is quite enough.

Happiness happens to you - it comes and goes. But joy is something you find. It is a brief moment of shocking, rare beauty. Everything is lovely and right to be so in that moment. And then it flits away. But I have a sneaking suspicion about joy that I would like to share with you, Coffee Lovers. I think joy just might be a choice. I think that there is beauty to love and cherish in everything. And maybe if we saw that beauty, maybe if we felt the warmth of everyone and everything, our sense of nirvana would knock Siddhartha Gautama's sandals off.

I want us all to be joyful. Sure, life will knock us down (as the old and worn cliche goes). But I think that next time I get knocked down I'm going to decide, for once in my life, to STAND UP. I'm not waiting for happiness to happen and lift me up. Nope. Joy and I will just stand on our own two feet. And that will be that.

And I know that right about now you are all probably wondering something. So, yes - I do, in fact, find a deep, aromatic joy in coffee. I just thought I'd save the best treasure chest for last.

May your coffee be strong, your passions electric, and your laughter easy.

1 comment:

  1. My dear Michael, Deeply insightful, beautifully written, and very profound. That just made my morning--and I will keep it in my heart all day. Thank you for being you. In fact, I feel great joy right now just thinking about you!