Thank you for your delights

I just want to tell you all that I’m so pleased by your responses to my prompt last night on the community thread (“What’s unexpectedly delighting you right now?”).

The night before, I asked you to lament and a few brave souls did. Thanks for that too. It takes courage to lament - to verbally shake your fist at the sky and shout God down from the clouds. It’s vital to the human experience to do that and I know a lot of folks are doing that right now.

And we can’t end there.

Lamenting is vital, but it’s never an end-point. You know you’re lamenting well if you find yourself broken open.

Because when you’re broken open, you can finally receive the gifts at hand in even the most mundane present moment.

I asked you to share your delights because I’ve been inspired by an essayist and poet named Ross Gay (thanks, Alex, for sharing his interview with Krista Tippett on the On Being podcast) and his book of essays, The Book of Delights.

Every day for a year (though he admits he missed a day or two), he wrote an essay about something that delighted him.

What a great word, right?

From what he said in the interview, delight can point to both darkness and light revealing things to be treasured in each.

Right now, we’re going through a 100-year global pandemic.

Who’da thunk? Yeah, we’re living through one of those...

Lucky us, right?

There’s literally people dying - at exponential numbers - every day right now.

But right here in the same world, as I write this to you, there are so… Many… Delights…

I have a hard time letting myself feel or notice these delights right now. It seems selfish. Like, how dare I feel delighted when so many are undergoing such pain.

But Ross Gay rails against this notion. To him, delight isn’t just for those who are going through ‘easy times’.

“Joy has everything to do with the fact that we’re all going to die,” he says frankly.

Our mortality connects us. Every moment, we are all in the process of dying. It’s the great equalizer and none of us escape it. Even when we think we’re going through ‘easy times’. And this is always, not just during a pandemic.

When Tippett mentions that some people think that joy is a luxury or privilege, Gay responds, “Yeah, that’s just fucking dumb." He continues, “It is joy by which the labor that will make the life that I want possible. It is not at all puzzling to me that joy is possible in the midst of difficulty.”

Seriously, please listen to the interview here. It’s so fantastic and it might just be what you need to hear now. Gay is a joy to listen to (and Tippett is the best).

Because even now - especially now…
Delight is possible.

Keep a sharp eye out for it.

The more you look for it,
the more you’ll see it.

Grace & Godspeed,