Joy. Joy. Joy.

Written By: Charles - May• 11•23

Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

Thursday gratefuls: MVP. Simcha. Joy. The laughter and learning around the table last night. Going to one more CBE event this month. Snow! 33 degrees. Heavy rain last night. A solid workout yesterday. Cardio and resistance. Feeling good, in my body. Connection. Relationships. Nature. Self. Dogs. Animals. Citrus salad. Mark’s desert Pigeon. The real true desert outside his hotel window.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Joy. Joy. Joy.

One brief shining: Sometimes, once in a while, if the fates are kind, an evening turns from ordinary learning into a festival, a celebration of what it means to be human, to see into each other’s lives and learn in real time what throbs in the heart of another.


Last night was such a night at CBE. It was my turn to lead the MVP group, a monthly mussar evening. Simcha was the middah, the character trait we focused on both in MVP and the congregation as a whole. Simcha means joy.

I asked everybody to find two or three photographs that evoked joy for them. We wrote five minutes about them, then dove into what everyone wanted. Adult show and tell.

Pictures of siblings. Pictures of children at play. Pictures outside in the Mountains. Pictures of Dogs. Of family meals, of ourselves as children. Of parents being happy. Of survival.

We laughed. Smiled. Nodded. I asked how the photographs evoked joy. The connections. With our past. With relationships that held and hold deep meaning. A moment of being one with the Mountains. The profound love of Dogs. At a breast cancer walk. The Self in a moment of ecstasy. A life transforming moment. Play.

We pulled out of them connections, relationships, nature, and play as core components of what evoked joy for us in these pictures.

Then we moved on, as we do each month, to defining a practice. A practice is a measurable way we can increase the middah of the month in our life. One of us will set the sweet picture of young grandchildren on the ledge beside her computer and see it everyday. Another made a joy folder out of pictures from his favorites, set it to music and had the photo app sift through 25 or so in a creative way. He plans to see it first thing in the morning. Another will find joy in the moment instead of looking for a future time when joy will come. Yet another chose to remind herself of her natural, joyful reaction to events in her life and not let other emotions dominate that. I acknowledged finding joy with others and will attend one more event at CBE over the next month. (No, I am not turning in my introvert merit badge. I’ve earned it. I am saying yes to the joy I feel in the presence of others as well.)

I added something, something joyful, to folks lives last night. Felt really good. There’s life in this old man yet. What I mean by that is that I felt some of the juice from days of yesteryear. Leading by consensus, taking a group from one place to another and having everyone part of the movement. And feeling good about it.

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