Whatever music you enjoy I urge you to listen, in its entirety, to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony subtitled ‘Ode to joy’. We saw it played at an open air concert in Germany conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and it was absolutely magical.
If you do manage to listen to it or watch a concert I have a question for you:
What do you hear in those wonderful silent spaces?
And another more inclusive question: Where do you look for joy?
What does joy come down to? Is it a matter of being of a naturally optimistic frame of mind? Since the moment of our birth our consciousness has been subject to both happy and sad times, challenges and opportunities and with any luck you have had the support of a family, carer or teacher to help you to see those challenges and opportunities for what they really are.
I say opportunities because that’s the way I see what most people would call problems. Close friends have seemed to me to be pessimists, but have described themselves as realists. In truth I may have been seeing life through rose tinted spectacles and tend to look past difficulties whereas they, my friends, often pinpoint the real pitfalls of a situation which I have missed.
Close friends and partners are brilliant especially when they tend to compliment our own strengths and cover our weaknesses for us and we for them in return.
In one respect I am a typical Taurean, an earth person with my feet securely on the ground, but at the same time I am often accused of having my head in the clouds especially when I am focused on a particular subject and need more than one wakeup call to bring me back to waking consciousness and the rest of the world.
Actually that’s how I am happiest and experience joy in most things with feet on the ground and head in the clouds, just like my favourite oak tree! I love trees!
Do yourself a favour and experience joy as you give a tree a hug.
I guess I am as unique as the next person in that I talk and sing nonsense, especially to all animals who I seem to have an affinity with, play piano by ear and have danced everywhere, from Old Time to Line Dancing. Well, something in the genes was passed down the line to my youngest who teaches dance, which is a joy to receive and to watch.
I am a naturally happy person and it takes little for me to find joy in anything, everyone and everything I am involved with, I can usually see the positive side of any situation.
I have multiple hobbies, many involved with remedying and repairing stuff which I told myself from an early age that I had just learnt how to cover my mistakes. Would you say afraid of judgement by others or too self critical? As long as I can see an acceptable result I am happy so joy is in there somewhere!
Some might even say that I am OCD, but then I believe that there are degrees of that prevalent condition when we need to find order, pattern, simplicity and beauty in our lives.
Anything that makes life simple is good and joyful for me, like turning round the labels of all the jars and tins on the shelves and in the fridge so that we can see at a glance where everything is, what we have in stock and how many of each!
I wonder if any of this stuff is taught in schools and I guess a lot depends on our parents and what they pass on, organisation wise, to us. To me anything that makes our lives easy, simple and joyful rather than fraught is preferable.
In having to downsize we have had to consider minimalism, simplification and when trying to be ecological, self sufficiency where small is beautiful and grow your own is good in a small way of the things we use and enjoy most.
But the thing that saddens me most is the opposite plight to joy experienced by all those trying to get to England whose streets they have been told are paved with gold.
Their journeys are life threatening and draining in terms of resources and energy and when they do arrive they are in for a shock even if they seek work to legitimately pay their way. We might be in a better state than their home country but in fairness they need to be legitimate refugees with a legal reason to claim asylum for we are a tiny island with limited resources.
Joy is low on the list of priorities of countries in Africa and the Middle East causing mass migrations not seen for generations and my heart goes out to them but like when I was first a healer and wanted to heal the world sadly no country can help everyone, it must be a joint effort to approach this greatest of all opportunities to prove that we are indeed one people.
With Love & Joy from Hanukah & the Angel.