Pursuing Joy

Pursuing Joy Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photographs a rhododendron and then Photoshops it over the face of her laughing daughter.Blooms of rhododendron, big as children’s heads, bobbed with the wind as I hovered over them behind my camera. The bright blossoms seemed to laugh with me the way my young daughter did years ago when we blew seedy dandelions into each others’ faces.

A new week, and I am still photographing flowers and scanning my thumb-drives for photos that display joy. But, in a funk over last week’s pathetic depiction of it, I came to realize that all this stuff about looking for joy, finding joy, …is not a universal reality. There are people who are looking for food, or for God, or for their car keys. In a world of a million things to be seeking, it may be a privilege to be looking for joy.

I mean, if our grown children, the ones off chasing dreams and living like there’s no tomorrow, were to say, “Mom, I’m looking for joy,” we’d immediately demand, “What about looking for a job?”

 

What do your children search for? What are you searching for? And what gives you joy?

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Pursuing Joy

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    Excellent reflections on joy, Robin. I’d ask my sons, “What are you doing to help the struggling earth?” I find joy in my work and in nature. I think you do, too, but it’s a side benefit, not the goal.

    Reply
  2. Annette Corth

    Dear Robin,

    I have never consciously pursued joy. Right now I am torn between keeping myself healthy enough to have a reasonable quality of life and hoping that Perry survives his endless stream of ailments. Right now he is being transferred from the hospital in Utica to the one in Albany where they gave him the new heart valve. It is leaking and has to be repaired. How long can his luck hold out? My joy now would be to be together again with both of us in decent health.

    Take it easy. You have plenty on your plate right now.

    Love,

    Annette

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie

      Plenty on my plate but not drowning yet. I’m thinking of you and Perry and hoping you both find health and some time together soon. Cheers, Annette.

      Reply
  3. SusanB

    I think that I’ve got a hole in my joy bucket and the source from which my joy comes has been fractured, so I’m always a little short on joy. It’s good that I even want to look for joy. It would be sad… yes, that goes without saying I would be sad without joy. Sometimes i am. Sometimes we just are sad. But that should keep us looking for joy, or generating our own, because we all have a joy garden inside of us. Your pictures and posts water my joy garden, Robin.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie

      Thank you so much, Susan. Fractured joy is better than no joy. So even if it comes out a little short, you are right to keep looking and hoping. I think we both are good at generating our own. Thank you for being out there encouraging me to tend my joy garden. Cheers to you.

      Reply
  4. Lucy Bergstrom

    Ii think it depends where you’re starting from, whether it seems frivolous to seek joy. To actively seek joy. Young adults, freed from the yoke of parental disapproval, go wild with it. They have to try everything. Marika wanted to experience it all, and was so angry with her leukemia for holding her back. But you – coming from a baseline of losing your daughter after a long and traumatic illness progression, with her angry at you, too – you need to seek joy. It is not frivolous. It is a lifeline. And by pondering this, and sharing your journey with your readers, you increase in wisdom.
    A wren just warbled in the garden. Joy.

    Reply
    1. robinbotie.com

      You’ve said this so beautifully. I’ve been trying to figure it out but my head can only go so far with it. It IS a lifeline although I don’t think I would ever have come up with that myself. Last week, one of the responses to my Facebook posts asked, “As a bereaved mother do you think you can EVER have joy again?” and I wrote back yes, that I could not go on if I didn’t believe I could find joy regularly. I’m still pondering this. But I’m not sure I’m recommending a full-time search for joy for everyone. Cheers, Lucy.

      Reply
    1. robinbotie.com

      I’m responding from the link that was on the recent email you sent. I did not go to admin or the dashboard or anything official. Just testing

      Reply

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