Friday, December 14, 2007

Joy to the World

I'm tired, but I can't sleep. Insomnia is a very strange phenomenon. And a recent one, for me. I could always sleep. Like a rock. Through a nuclear explosion. No problem. But not anymore, apparently.

Now I'm up in the wee hours, pecking away at my laptop while Harley snores beside me. I always fell asleep before Harley even started to snore. At least I know he doesn't have sleep apnea. There's looking at the glass half full, right?

The wind is blowing hard outside, whistling past the windows, and I'm thinking all of those wee-hour thoughts. Like George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life, wondering if everyone's life would have been better if I'd never been born? I don't have any icy rivers around here to jump into... which is a good thing, because I'm pretty sure I don't have a Clarence waiting to jump in after me, either.

I got a Christmas card - first one of the season - opened it up today to the message: "May the new year bring you great joy." Joy. Wow. What in the hell is that? I think I understand the concept... I vaguely remember having that euphoric feeling a few times, maybe. The births of my children. My wedding day.

No pressure or anything, but the new year should bring me JOY? Can we aim a little lower? How about just the feeling of actually wanting to get out of bed every morning? I'd settle for that. But JOY? That feels quite foreign to me. Very out of reach. Looming in the realm of the impossible.

How often do we humans really experience joy? I mean, aside from maybe Buddha or the Dali Lama or Amma or something... those few people who seem to have been lit from the inside out... how many of us get to experience that particular emotion? Is every day a joy? One thing a week? One a month? One a year? Realistically, how often should I expect JOY to show up on my plate? (Ah there's a metaphor... slipped right in there, didn't it?)

I'd like to say I'd settle for happy. But what I really want is... joy. Euphoria. Pleasure, with a capital P. And I want it every single day. Every single moment of every single day. What? Unrealistic expectations? No one promised me a rose garden? Yeah. Right. I got it.

So the food keeps going in, the highs keep coming, and I keep longing for... more. It's never enough. Even at one in the morning, when I can't sleep and the night winds howl, and I could be outside instead of in, I could be nonexistent like George Bailey, life could always be worse, always... still, it's never enough.

This hole is bottomless. Nothing could fill it.

1 comment:

Zentient said...

A wise Zen teacher said:

Joy is exactly what is happening right now, minus our opinion of it. -Charlotte Joko Beck.

I struggled to find the flaw in this pithy teaching, but it's perfectly stated!

Zentient

Queen Bee's Buzzin' on Down

King Harley's Revvin' on Down