I say the word and I smile; Joy comes from within me in response to all that is good. I am structuring this series of reflection on the Fruit of the Spirit: Love Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Faithfulness Gentleness Self-Control… and Joy, that seems to come when all the others are present in my life.
I also experience Joy in the presence of beauty. I became serious about photography after I retired, when I wasn’t feeling much joy because I lacked purpose in my life. Photography has helped me recognize beauty, especially in nature. I wonder if moving into street portraits would allow me to see more beauty in the human soul? Until that happens I am finding purpose, and Joy, in sharing my images of beauty and words of hope on my blog.
If I find joy in the beautiful, then it is important for me be able define what I find beautiful. Without question I find beauty in nature; landscapes, flowers, seascapes, sunrises, sunsets, paths in the woods. Is there also beauty in death – a dead rose, a dead tree? I think so. Does this beauty bring me joy when I see it as an image through my lens?
I wonder if it is possible to see beauty and joy in the face of human pain and suffering? No, it can’t be there. Pain and suffering isn’t beautiful and should not bring joy – but do I dare say I have see it there? I have seen it in the hope for a better future; maybe Joy resides with Hope. I have felt it when the eyes of suffering meet and there is a glimmer of Joy in mutual understanding. Maybe it is Joy that allows for the silence of compassion. How do I photograph silence except through an image where you have also experienced silence – and Joy.
I have never asked anyone how they experience Joy, and the more I think about it the more elusive it becomes – except I know when it is present. I feel it now, as I am finishing up this post; with my husband reading the paper, a cup of coffee at my side, looking forward to the beautiful music of our church service and breakfast afterwards at our favorite morning restaurant. I feel it in the center of my chest – not too deep and directly connected to a gentle smile.
Joy holds a lot of mystery for me, I don’t understand it. Maybe I don’t want to understand – I just want to enjoy it and wish lots of it for you. Maybe you will let me know what brings you joy and what it feels like for you. If I have inspired you to do a post, please leave us a link.