It was as high as Mt. Olympus, as high as the edges of the universe – if that is indeed high, which I doubt given the crazy twists of space, but you get me.
I pinpoint the day I stepped off the diving board as the day my son was conceived. But then there was the birth of my daughter, pathological insomnia and prescription pills that took me to the edge of disability and even death.
I never thought I’d write a memoir. But lordy, after falling so far and for so long there was nothing to do but write. It’s the only salvation I had while I was sick and now that I’m healthy, it’s my greatest love and refuge.
I launched the Kickstarter campaign to support Dear Little Fish on October 28th. Check it out here, if you haven’t seen it! Putting the Kickstarter together was a huge risk but after falling for six years, it felt like cake. The best, most joyful kind of cake. The only kind of cake, really, that there is.
And I’ve been stunned at the response. It makes me realize that my story is both mine and not mine. There are people out there who are still falling. There are people who have fallen and gotten up and said, “Damn. I’m alive. Who knew?” There are those who’ve had different experiences entirely but who understand what it’s like to have your entire life ripped from beneath you.
Which is why this post is about joy.
The French novelist Andre Gide said that we must “Embrace joy as a moral obligation.” I thought this was a great quote before but it means even more now. There will be those times that life feels heavier than a Mack Truck on your chest. This is why we must embrace joy when we can. We must fill ourselves so that we may offer what we have to others. And the way we fill ourselves? Joy, pure and simple.
Do something today that brings you joy. Make it a practice. You’ll always end up in the direction that you’re headed, so make that direction joy as often and for as long as you can. And if you feel inspired, let me know what you did. I’d love to hear.
To all of us. To simple and to complex joys. May we watch for them everyday.