Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Joy Bringer

What if your name was Joy Bringer? Joy S. Bringer.

I just discovered there's a song called Joybringer by some band named Manfred Mann's Earth Band, which is a pretty cool band name. Also I just learned it's Earth Day today, so that's serendipitous.  The song is from the 70's and it's not the world's greatest, though there is some pretty excellent digital/laser space sounds.   But here are some simple lyrics:

I bring joy and I can take you through
All those days when people seem to get to you
I bring joy and I come here to you
I bring life and I can take you where
You can see and feel and breathe and touch the air
I bring life and I can take you there
Feelings inside that we keep
Out of sight and out of reach
Brings us to the things we seek
Take your time, remember when you do
There are days when people feel the same as you
I bring time and I can take you through

Today I am focusing on things that are bringing me joy these days.  Yesterday Julian and I went on an epic scooter ride to my parents' house because I ran out of apricot jam.  Listen, we are self-isolating pretty hard and don't see an-y-one, much less my aged parents.  But like I said, i ran out of my mom's apricot jam and desperate times call for desperate measures of putting yourself and your loved ones at risk.  Ok, I am JK-- we did stay outside and I kept inching away if I felt too close-- but my point here is that I've realized that apricot jam brings me a lot of joy these days.

Yesterday I was sitting in the hammock chair reading my new book, one that everyone but me has read, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  I remember a book club reading this one a million years ago when we had first moved to Bklyn and at the time I was like, book clubs- lame (I was young) and I didn't read it. And I'm glad I didn't because it wouldn't have been right to have read it then, being newly transplanted in Brooklyn, not yet knowing the place.

The time is right, now. And as I sat swinging lazily in the morning sun that is like an intravenous hookup to the only thing that can keep me alive-- as often happens, I started thinking about bread, particularly rye bread.  On the handful of occasions we've been out to the grocery stores, we always look for a good loaf but there are none, of course.  And also of course, we aren't going to be making any any time soon, though we did buy some yeast, which is sitting in the cupboard--what I consider a huge step.  So I got online and actually ordered two loaves of marble rye bread on Etsy-YES. Etsyyyyy.  I can't tell you how happy that made me in that moment.  And then I read a bit more and then sent this text to a friend:

We've decided to tame our wild cat, who loves to go out into the night if he can, getting in all sorts of trouble, and are hoping to stamp out his wild outside cat-ness (ha) and turn him into an inside cat.  He's come back with so many mysterious injuries and as mentioned, hunted and murdered much wildlife.  He also cannot resist rolling around in dirt piles and I'm sick of it.  So we tied a rope to a stake in the back yard, make him wear a harness, and only let him out when we can hook him up. Julian tries to take him on walks which is comical.  


But he's becoming much more docile and I have to be sure to give him lots of attention.  This is him right now. And this cat is me right now, and the cats in general, are taking me through the days.
wherever you can, Kat. Get it

And here was me in the hammock swing yesterday:


I go out back on every nice morning, go walking or biking or scootering in the day, and then sit on the stoop out front every evening.  I've also been known to open the front blinds and park myself on the rug inside, late afternoon sun full in eyes, and just bask. That life-giving sun is taking me through. 

Other things that bring me joy:

- our blender.  We got a blendtec blender for Christmas, after years of foolishly thinking our junky one was sufficient (also: there's a difference between "junky" and "junkie," I have just learned, ha ha).  I make smoothies every day and every time I use the blender I stand there looking at it and think how amazing it is, and with its easy-clean feature.  It brings me joy.

- our vaccuum.  In my moments of stress-cleaning, this one is a big player. We recently acquired a cordless Dyson vacuum and this thing is a literal life-changer.  I wouldn't include it here if it didn't bring actual joy to my life.  It is a pleasure to use and the nightmare of a corded vacuum is and will hopefully ever be a distant and forgotten memory.  

- food.  Food brings me joy.  I plan my days around food. We even meal-plan, something I abhorred up until now.  This is also necessary so that we don't go to the store too often, something we are accustomed to doing.  But food has taken a prominent place in the joy centers of my brain.  I made chocolate lava cakes last night. I had to make some adjustments because our recipe has not enough chocolate and too much sugar and zero salt, so it's a hard balance and guessing game, but I got it.  I got it.  It worked.  Too bad I didn't measure anything out exactly.  But they were so good. I'm still thinking about them, especially that 1/3 stick of butter I consumed.

Once again, it's the simple things, and may you have some of your own that bring you a moment's joy throughout the days. 

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