Recall joy

"We had 50 happy years with Jane, and 14 with Lucy. So you can suddenly recall joy. It is available. You just have to reach down into your memory to find it."
Sir Richard Attenborough, speaking about the deaths of his daughter Jane and his granddaughter Lucy, both victims of the 2004 Tsunami in Phuket, Thailand.

I was reading the Daily Telegraph a couple of days ago when I saw a piece about Sir Richard Attenborough. He has a new film coming out called Closing the Ring (you'll find the trailer on the right hand column of this blog). I am a great admirer of Sir Richard's directorial efforts, Ghandi being one of my all-time favorite films and Cry Freedom another, so I couldn't pass up on reading this article.

The story spoke some about his new movie, but most of the writing centered on his coping with the loss of his daughter and granddaughter during the tsunami disaster of 2004. To paraphrase, he said that he had finally arrived at a point where he was able to recall the joy of memories involving his loved ones whereas immediately after their deaths, his box of memories seemed empty.

This post you are reading, has had four different incarnations. All of them dealing with topics of gratefulness and other suitable end of the year inspired issues but, for some reason, I wasn't really getting anywhere with them. Not only was I not going places with my writing but Mr. Attenborough's poignant phrasing was firmly parked in my head. I gave up and decided to figure out why.

You see, I am extremely capable of recalling the joy of just about anything. My own life is devoid of the monumental sadness that is now a constant in Mr. Attenborough's. Even at their darkest moments, my memories are balanced by instances of joy. My memory box is full to overflowing with the good stuff. I have joy. What's more, I've had the good fortune to recognize it as such when I might otherwise have not. I therefore concluded that my fixation on the words had nothing specifically to do with me.

Would you consider it presumptuous of my part to have arrived at the realization that what I really wanted to do was remind you of it?

I believe that there is always a time to be joyful. That's right, always. Joy can come in large bursts of color or in the most delicate of tints. Barring you being one of those unfortunate beings who have it truly bad and, don't we all know at least a little of how much suffering there is in this world? Then you, like me, can find something to be joyful about.

I don't mean to mouth platitudes but isn't this a perfect time of the year to do just that?

For an audio version of this post click here.

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