It’s Saturday. My summer plan is to write my blogs during the week so that I can take my weekends off. It is part of my Joy Practicum.
As I just wrote, it’s Saturday. And I’m writing. So clearly my Joy Practicum is off to a shaky start.
Well, at the very least, I thought to myself, I can finish the blog today and take all of Sunday off!
Sometimes my blogs flow. Other times they splutter out in fits and spurts. This afternoon seemed to be the latter. No words, then a rush, then a few more — but all needing copious editing and re-editing. The realization that I was repeating old stories that even I was no longer interested in hearing. The message taking shape in my heart and then on the page. Finally, slowly, it began to look like a blog. In fact, I had just about finished the whole thing, when the webpage froze.
And so did my heart.
Invoking the God of Patience while pacing across the room to assuage my anxiety with movement and, more importantly, copious amounts of dark chocolate, I began performing all the system checks that anyone who lives in front of a screen and keyboard utilizes in such times of hellish crisis. You know, the deeply unscientific but magically hopeful ones we’ve all had the misfortune to learn through trial and error, tsouris and angst.
Every other page on my web browser works. Check. The mouse works. Check.
Back to the blog post. Dead as a doornail. (Where did that expression come from anyway?)
Pace across the room. Chocolate. Dark dark chocolate. Sit down. Sigh.
Reload another page. Check. Try to chat with technical support. Turns out they actually stick to their plan of not working on weekends. Chocolate. Dark dark chocolate.
Next plan: Pray. Jiggle the mouse. Wait. (The idea being that the God of Patience rewards the patient.) Try accessing the blog on another device. Not there. Pace around the room. Chocolate. Dark dark chocolate. Sit down. Shake. Google blog page freezing solutions. Try them. Nope. Great ideas. Just not for my particular frozen blog page. Chocolate. Dark dark chocolate. Sit down. Wait more.
That’s when it happened: The Google Chrome Death Knell.
This page has become unresponsive. Do you want to keep waiting or Kill It? (I swear those last two words had capital letters.)
Kill It? Are you kidding me? I take ants and spiders outside and set them free. I don’t want to kill anything. Least of all a blog post that had taken quite a bit more sweat and tears than it should have. And that’s when the God of Patience revealed Herself to be the God of If You Can’t See the Message in This, I’ll Just Send It Even Louder and Clearer.
The page vanished. Just up and vanished. Gone. Into the ether. Not one word saved.
Pace inside and outside. Chocolate. Dark dark chocolate. A cup of soothing tea — more to offset the chocolate than the loss of the blog at this point. Sit down. Sigh. Shake. Wait. Pray.
This time I invoked the God of Words — reasoning that whatever words had come through once could come through again — maybe even a little more easily this time, since they had already found their way to the page once. But as I stared at the white screen. I realized my temples were throbbing, and I, who am cold even in a heat wave, was in a full body sweat.
Yet again I headed over toward the dwindling chocolate dark dark chocolate, but found myself instead staring out the window. And that’s when I apparently got quiet enough to actually hear something: “This is a blog about the Daily Practice of Joy. And this, my sweet, is in every single imaginable way, decidedly thoroughly utterly and completely JOY-LESS!” Check.
This was supposed to have been my Father’s Day blog. But to be honest, I feel like every day is Father’s Day, because my dad is always with me, in my heart and in my mind -- in the way I think and what I choose to think about; in how I move through the world and where I go; in what I read, how I see, the choices I make; and certainly in so many of my fondest memories. He was even the impetus for writing this Daily Practice of Joy, after I realized that the joy he had modeled so effervescently for me as a child had, through my workaholism and self-loathing, begun to fade into distant memory. So, instead of writing about my father this afternoon, I had written my blog about my father’s greatest joy: Art! It was a pretty good blog — about sacred activism, living your legacy, and making your passion your purpose. Maybe one day you’ll read it. But today, apparently, is not that day.
Because when I finally sat down to write, I heard three more words: Keep it simple.
So, this is my Father’s Day blog.
I adored my father. I didn’t adore him because he was famous. I didn’t adore him because other people adored him. Which they did. A lot of people absolutely adored my father. I adored him because he made me feel the two things that make life worthwhile: Love and joy. I felt them every day when I was with him. Every day when I thought about him. I still do. Love and joy.
Was he perfect? No. Does that matter? No. Why? Because perfect isn’t why we’re here. Love and joy are. As the tragic events of this week have reminded so many of us: We are here for love and joy.
I’m sure most of you have seen Lin-Manuel Miranda’s moving acceptance speech at the Tony Awards on the night of the Orlando massacre, but for those of you who haven’t and need a reminder of what it’s all about, here it is:
I cannot do better than to blatantly steal some of his beautiful sonnet and rewrite it to conclude this Father’s Day blog. Because what I learned from my father is the best lesson any parent can teach any child. And if I spend my whole life trying to live his legacy of love and joy, then I will have done what I am here to do. That is the whole and simple Truth.
Happy Father’s Day to the man who showed me in every smile, hug, laugh, tear, and joy-filled adventure (you know, that little thing the rest of us call daily life) how to live love and be joy! Grateful doesn’t even begin to cover it, Dad. I love you!