Joy & Music
If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to talk briefly about joy. Yeah – I don’t often go here/there – but it’s a beautiful place to visit.
A few days ago, I learned the chemical content of our tears for joy are different from those for sadness and the microscopic crystalline patterns are vastly different. Your face, your skin, feels wetness – but your mind and heart understand the tears your emotions are expressing.
I’m not a “cry because of happiness” type of guy, but I know how this emotion feels on the inside. It’s exciting and it makes me smile (without trying). It’s joy – and I understand it’s definition, even if it is sometimes more reliant upon memories than recent events.
Like you, there are dozens (or, perhaps hundreds) of songs that make up my playlist – the soundtrack – of amazing moments in life. When amazing people first entered my life and said hello – when I was in the right place, at the right time with the right people – mental photographs I'll never erase.
I dance around my apartment, without being self-conscious (though none of my windows have coverings), more often than I care to admit. It’s important to celebrate the victories of the day and celebrate the fact we’ve lived to see another. Every day isn’t a four-letter word.
So far this evening, I’ve celebrated life with the music of Vonda Shepard. She isn’t my normal go-to musician for this purpose – but, tonight, her music rings beautifully throughout my apartment. She sings of hope, possibilities, and wanting to actively make life better. She often sings from the point of sadness and loneliness – with unbridled hope – and I think there is something beautiful (and relatable) about that.
“The Wildest Times of the World” (Vonda Shepard) brings me joy. In a few moments, I suspect it might be “Mr. Jones” (Counting Crows) and, before the evening is over, I’m confident the music of Harry Connick Jr. may emanate through my stereo speakers.
How do the sad – and perhaps grieving – celebrate joy? I suspect in the same way everyone else does. I put on a record (digital resource) and turn up the volume – the music releases multi-colored fireworks in all directions and I dance for as long as I want to (or until I notice the neighbors are watching).
May you have an amazing evening – filled with Joy (with a capital “J”). And if not tonight, may you feel it tomorrow – or, at least, soon. And, if you can’t do it easily – reach for the memories that will take you there. The memories are there – you just have to let them breathe – let them play, like a record on a turntable. Then forget about the sadness – at least for a little while. The sadness will return, I promise you. But, if you shove it under the bed for a few hours, you’ll be better for it.
And you deserve it.
Feel free to join me – if you’d like.
Available on YouTube:
The Wildest Times of the World – Vonda Shepard
Mr. Jones – Counting Crows
Harry Connick Jr. – Come by Me
Pictured: Jimmy Broccoli. Age 26. Grainy photo.