A couple weeks ago, an old friend asked those of us who were gathered for dinner something like "What in your life brings you joy?"
Some interesting discussion ensued about the term joy. It's a word that I'm a little wary of; I think to me it can connote a certain naivete and lack of healthy skepticism. ('Cause, y'know, it's important to be cynical about things. Who knows what awful things might happen if we weren't.) On the other hand, it also has a purity to it that perhaps the world could use more of.
I certainly have plenty of happiness in my life, and pleasure. And cheerfulness, and gaiety; contentment, gladness, enjoyment. Sometimes even delight. But I think the only context where the word joy comes to mind is listening to or singing certain songs. I did a quick search for "joy" (with a space before it, to avoid finding "enjoy") in my journal; sometimes I say a piece of technology is "a joy to use," which is probably a step up from "a pleasure to use" but isn't really quite what I mean when I talk about experiencing joy. The only other relevant bit was a birthday entry from a couple years ago, in which I was talking about music. Especially the "Gaudeamus Hodie" round and various Lui Collins songs.
(The mention of sunlight on that page reminds me to mention that on the way back from the cafeteria to my desk at work, I pass through a little area at the top of the stairs that's perfectly situated to capture warm sunlight. I generally slow down as I approach the top of the stairs, and sometimes stop altogether for a few seconds, just luxuriating in the warmth. That's a pleasure that's somewhat akin to joy, I think.)
The other mention of joy in my journal was in an entry quoting Zen Judaism. But that was just silly.
Tim P recently mentioned writing joyfully. So now I'm curious, so I'll ask all of you: what brings joy to you? What makes you joyful?
(Reminder to LJ readers: If you want to post a comment, please follow the link to my journal page first.)