Unfrivolous joy

Unfrivolous joy

I hope, even in the midst of All These Things, you’re still able to get your Friday on.

I wish you feisty joy.

I wish you rebellious love.

I wish you the Friday frippery of cats and children and saints and sages.

“If you’re not hopeful and optimistic, then you just give up. You have to take that long hard look and just believe that if you’re consistent, you will succeed.”
– John Lewis

For bleeding hearts like you and me (yes, you, right there, I see you and I see your heart), it can feel “wrong” to feel fine right now.

The global pandemic is roaring. John Lewis is gone. Terrible things are taking place in Mali and Yemen and Delhi and the human heart.

Who are we to feel OK, much less joyful?

But I ask you: who are we to solemnify our spirits away from the world when joy is just what it needs?

Could it be that our joy and our faith in one another — human, feline, even the difficult ones, especially the difficult ones — is the answer to a world wailing in questions?

“We may not have chosen the time, but the time has chosen us.”
– John Lewis

I’m not talking the frivolous kind of joy that comes from buying yourself an enormous sequined scrunchie, although there’s a place for that, too. I’m talking the craggy joy that has known good and evil and cats and chaos and chooses to stagger forward day after dazzling day, even when the dazzles are darkness, even when the Fridays are full of rain.

(A box of rain can be a gift too, you know.)

I’m talking the kind of joy that gets into good trouble, that takes marching orders only from love, that knows how to stand and to sing and, yes, to rejoice even when the very earth seems ready to swallow us all whole.

Maybe it will.

“You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone — any person or any force — dampen, dim or diminish your light … Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won.”
– John Lewis

But maybe that swallowing will be a sort of re-creating hug.

Allow yourself some joy today, kittens. It’s fuel for the journey and healing for the bones of the world.

And in case of emergency, break glass and access Gratuitous Cat Photos.

There is always more good. Nothing frivolous about it, in the end.

Go get yourselves into some good trouble this weekend.

Your guides to sphere-shaking joy, top to bottom: Marjory, Stafford, Faye, Anemone, Sophia

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
– John Lewis

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