January 28, 2016
So I've been thinking about joy lately. Not happiness, not contentment, not satisfaction... nothing so mature or thoughtful as those. Simple, pure, joy. Seeing a dog with its head stuck out a moving vehicle. Finally getting a piece of apple pie you've been looking forward to all day. Recognizing the opening notes of a song that makes you dance like an idiot, then dancing like an idiot. Whatever makes your mouth curl up in an irresistible spastic twitch that makes you kinda-not-really-embarrassed it happened sort of thing.
You know: joy.
We, or at least I, tried to avoid it as being childish; it was ephemeral, and not worth serious consideration by serious grown-ups like us. I was wrong. I was wrong about myself and wrong about the emotion. Joy is a here-and-now piece of timelessness, without future or past. It's only ever a moment, but it's a moment without past or consequence - the ultimate flash in the pan BANG! that overrides societal rules and decorum. It's a big reason why I ride motorcycles. I'm given to understand it's why many people have kids, or is at least a happy side effect of them.
Joy is scary. It demands your full attention; it's a loss of control, and it can be overridden. We can bury joy within ourselves, pushing it down under sarcasm and ego and frikkin' image. (What would the neighbours think?) It's easy to eliminate, and it's easy to justify eliminating: when you are no longer a child, you are supposed to put away childish things, after all. Games inspire moments of joy; but often to get to them we also experience frustration, and anger, and occasionally hopelessness. But the joy makes it worth it. The crux: a player was told not to attend the NHL All-Star Game because he was an embarrassment. The people running a league of a game told a player (question: they're called 'players' because...?) to stay away from the most trivial, meaningless part of that league because they were embarrassed he was going to be there. Fans, who in theory the game is supposed to be played for, voted him into the All-Star Game. If that happens, then he belongs, whatever the humourless pearl-clutchers insist. And you know what he's going to do? Enjoy it.
Share |posted by Erin Butler at 7:25 pm