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2003-11-14......9:12 a.m.......
the akwardness of joy

there is a terrible beauty, and a sickening akwardness in joy.

on the one hand, joy shared can be wonderful, but joy can only be shared if it is first offered by one, and then accepted by the other. two dear friends both in the throw of a new relationship can clasp hands and laugh together with the understanding of that joy the other feels. even if there is no sympathy, joy can be shared through empathy. a father smiles and pats his son joyfully on the back at receiving a promotion. the father may think, "ah, i remember when i was young and on top of the world" and thus have common ground with the one in rejoice. there is a mutual appreciation of a thing that allows more than the one person to share in one person's joy. and how joy loves to be told and spread and shared. joy is such a live thing, such a wriggling, growing feeling that it is unbearable to keep to one'sself. to do so would be to stifle it and to cramp the very exultant nature of joy itself. but how often we must do so. for though there is glory in proclaimation, there are ears who find the words nauseating.

there is no excitement in a jealous joy. a person, caught high on the drug of a first kiss will find little reciprocation if he or she extols such news to a lonely heart or a bitter one. yes, there may be great pretense, even to the point of deception on all parts, even the pretender's, but that is not joy, that is humoring the joyful. how many times does a joyful person stop midsentence to realise his or her audience is not responding in kind, but rather with annoyance or even a polite boredom? and how easily, then, that joy is forced back inside their chest from embarassment at the sheer akwardness of the situation. you dont go bragging about a promotion to a friend cant find work.

and so, joy can become an akward, clunky thing banging around inside the chest. sometimes bubbling up with the sheer levity of itself, but being swallowed quickly back down. in both cases, it is selfishness at work. the joyful person wants to tell the world of it, and in telling, wants reciprocation, which affirms their joy. and the friend, who in all other circumstances loves them but in this, turns the other's joy away on jealous grounds, is also acting out of selfishness in the sense that what they cant have, they want to hear nothing of. and so we tiptoe around these, afraid of being over the top, afraid of that disgusted, sad look that appears on the faces of those our joy has bounced off of. joy is so much less appealing in rebound from rejection.

oh, if only we could give and share joy as a more liquid commodity. if only there was no pretense in excitement. but for now, and for always, the sound of joy will be abhorrent to the pitying. the retelling of victory will be a tease to the conquered, be it or be it not the same war. the thrill will often be lost between storyteller and storytold. but, thank goodness to our sense of manners, rarely do they say to me, "stop!". and so i will go on. i am happy. terribly happy.

~~kristin.michelle.dennis

...and all sing in harmony, i am ok...

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