Joy. The topic du jour for me, in the few months since I got married. After living together for 9 years, I don’t think either of us expected it to feel this different. We married without a lot of hoopla, we live in the same house, with the same cat, & after a brief honeymoon, not that much changed. But to our surprise, ordinary life now seems to be unfolding on another plane entirely.
I recognize this — aloft — feeling I’ve been waking up with every day. It’s the same elation that comes when I connect to the work in a meaningful way. (For me, stage acting delivers the ‘art-high’ in its most concentrated form, that’s the arm-drip.)
In good times joy feels married to the creative work, arising whenever two or more of us are gathered in its name — to quote that cliched wedding song that still gets to me. It’s levitating the space I share with the amazing group of actors in my class on Tuesday nights. It’s inhaled as it’s passed back & forth in one-on-one sessions in my studio. If we can only remember to call on it, it’s even lurking in the audition room.
But as Shakespeare wrote, “where joy most revels, grief doth most lament; / Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.” Meaning — "on slender accident” — it all goes up in smoke. Joy just packs its bags & drops out of the picture, doesn’t even leave a note. Vanishes. Like (sometimes) the course of love. When you first met — remember? — the connection took your breath away. You thought of nothing else. The glow of it permeated all of your activities. But time went by & you started taking each other for granted. You got lazy. Or tired. Or disenchanted by the fact that it’s not exactly like it is in the movies. & there you go. You've completely lost touch with what propelled you on the journey in the first place.