Among the tiny number of people who know of this blog's existence, the overwhelming majority have been here once, for one second, before leaving, never to return. There is only a wee smattering of people who have been here more than once, and of those an even smaller number who return repeatedly. Within that group there are the ones who are aware that this month the blog is themed The Month of Joy. As the number dwindles we find a barely perceptible speckling of people who even care about that theme. And you, barely perceptible speckling, care, most likely, because you care about me. This blog entry is for you.
Not so long back I had two separate discussions with people in the space of a few days. One person I know reasonably well, the other, not so well at all. They both made the same comment: you don't come across in person the way you do on your blog.
I wasn't all that puzzled by the comment, save for the fact that no-one had ever said anything about it before and here were two people saying it, apropos of nothing, at quite a meagrely-spaced interval. "You're so much lovelier in person," opined one quite passionately. While I thought it was a very sweet thing to say, said person was also well on the road to being sideways drunk.
The 'people who care' already know I'm not really an ogre, they know that some of the colourful language and candid opinion contained herein is born mostly out of occasional frustration with...stuff. Most personal bloggers, as with the diarists of days gone by, write as a purgative. Emotional ipecac. My own motivation for starting a blog was similarly inspired: 'People must hear what I have to say because I'm chock-full of fucking great opinions and it would be a crime not to share them with an eager and suffering world.' And all that bollocks.
So why JOY? Well, that was kinda covered in the first joy post. We seem, as a collective, to default to being bored and grumpy and jaded and complain-y and unsatisfied and unfulfilled and morose and negative and pissy and just plain fucking boring. It's boring to be on the receiving end of it and it's boring to BE it. And it doesn't really matter whether you believe we only get one life or you are one of the many who think there's something to come after we're gone, to be all those things can hardly be good for you. Or anyone else for that matter. So that's why 'joy'. I'm just trying to remind people that, if you are not eating rotten scraps from rubbish bins, walking 15 miles a day for a bucket of cholera-free-water or living in quite rational fear of death or destruction on a daily basis, you have good reason to be joyful. Getting the iPhone 4 the day before the 5 comes out is no justification for thinking that your life sucks.
Why ME? I suppose the simplest answer is, 'why not?' I've had no revelation or (cringes) epiphany. I'd previously written about not taking the simple joys for granted. Plus, it didn't hurt that some people told me my writing was not reflective of my personality, which made me think that I too often taken joy for granted. Most importantly, one particular person who often makes me rethink the way I think...made me rethink the way I think. Which very neatly brings me to:
Why NOW? There could be many reasons really, but there's only one worth mentioning. She. See that little bit of peerlessly beautiful face up there? She is not only my love, it is through knowing her that I learned what it is to love without condition and by very short extension, the meaning of joy. Her name, for those of you who don't know, is Rhonda. I have known her for 11 years, most of which has been spent physically separated by the biggest body of water this little planet has to offer. In ten days (actually 9 days and 21 hours at the time this post is published) she will be much closer. She is the reason I feel joy, not just because of her impending arrival, but because she is the one person on this planet who makes me feel as if we may be more than the sum of our parts. While I could intellectualise it down to a stub, she taught me to feel that one must look within oneself to find joy. She inflames me and she cools me and she has helped to build me into a man (I hasten to add that, through no fault of her own, that job is not yet complete). And yes, SHE is the cat's mother.
If you were after one reason why I'd love for you to spend a little time contemplating the idea of simple joy, it's only fair I share something from the deepest part of myself. My joy is she and she is my joy.