I’ve been asked many times and questioned myself over the years. (I’ve been in and out of counseling since the late 60s / early 70s when I got my first F on a school report card.)
I have felt joy exactly twice. On e when my wife appeared in view the day we got married and the second when she gave me a particular birthday present that surprised and delighted me beyond expectation. (Travlin’ Tim)
I’ve been in good moods plenty, more lately, but meditations and counselors frequently ask me to “think back to a time when I felt joy.”
its one of those words that have never been in my vocabulary and when someone asks for it, I have to find out what it is before I can tell you I don’t have it, or if I do.
To me joy is an extreme word. An extreme rarity on the far edge of emotion. The most extreme happiness.
This isn’t a negative post. Just a statement of fact. When I am asked to remember joy on order to recover from the loss of my wife, it’s kind of counterproductive that she’s the source of the medicine to help me recover.
The other weekend, like a freak, I was out standing in this tree I’m trying to heal. (The Otaheite Apple Tree, you’ve heard me talk about it). I’m standing in the tree, talking to it and looking for new growth like I do almost every day. My neighbor and his wife were outside too, although we couldn’t actually see each other.
All of a sudden I heard my wife’s voice call “Babe”. I stepped out of the tree. I looked around. That was my name. I heard it, where did my name come from? I remember every detail, the quality of the light, the texture of the side of the house, the too long grass and the weeds. I want to find my wife who called my name. I was walking, looking.
It must’ve taken me a full 60 seconds to figure out what was going on. In those 60 seconds I was either not human at all or fully human for he first time ever. There were no thinking words in my brain, no tangible thought. Time stopped. My name, I heard my name. I was on my way to provide anything the sayer of my name wanted.
After that long minute, it all started coming back to me. Wife’s long gone. Divorce final. It wasn’t my wife. It was the neighbors wife. Even when my wife was still here, my neighbors wife calling Babe sounded the same as my wife.
It wasn’t for me.
But the fact is, I heard my name. I heard my name for the first time in over a year. My name is Babe, and I miss hearing my name. I miss it real bad.