Language, meaning and our internal story-teller

The fact of language is one more thing that divides him from nature. But, he finds that if he doesn’t record the days, he has nothing to keep them apart. They blur into each other, a mass of green and gray, and he loses not only them but himself. (Alison Pick in ‘The Sweet Edge’)

This set me thinking. I have often felt the urge to learn ‘the speaking of silence’. Words sometimes seem to fill the spaces to bursting, getting in the way of real meaning. Despite a life-long love-affair with words, I have always retained some uncertainty as to their fundamental value.

Yet without words, what happens to memory?

Continue reading “Language, meaning and our internal story-teller”

Joy and meaning – first thoughts

How often is reference made to the search for meaning in modern life?

In the last few years, I have increasingly felt that we have inadvertently turned this on its head. Rather than searching for meaning in our lives, should we perhaps be more focused on creating meanings?

We can choose to live each day aware only of surface. Or we can look beyond that surface to joy and meaning.

Continue reading “Joy and meaning – first thoughts”

The seeds of joy

Trees, hoar-frosted, rimed with pure, white light;
bright sun shatters morning mist . . .

Around a mirrored mountain lake,
the loon’s call echoes eerily . . .

Gold-rimmed dusk-horizon,
crowned with a paint washed sky . . .

Spiralling to earth on a jewelled night,
bright beneath blue moon.


Love’s first flush;
a world  more filled with meanings . . .

‘Marry me’ – a pebble’s splash that stuns and ripples outward;
secret bubble hugged close to my heart . . .

That miracle – new life;
part you, part me, but totally herself . . .

Watching your child take wing and fly –
and letting go with love . . .


Witnessing a face light up,
responding to your smallest act of kindness . . .

Creating magic, with intent,
for loved ones, and watching them unbend . . .

That moment when you recognise
the universe unfolding exactly as it should . . .

Making a difference, however small,
for just one person or the world.


A first attempt at a definition of joy

I have found most dictionary definitions of joy to be sadly lacking:


The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; pleasurable feelings or emotions caused by success, good fortune, and the like, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exhilaration of spirits; delight.



The feeling of happiness, extreme cheerfulness.


My conception of joy is of something more profound.



Joy is to be found in a place of inner quiet, the point of light within – the divine spark? It is more the manifestation of a quality of spirit than an emotion, existing only in the ‘now’.

Continue reading “A first attempt at a definition of joy”

Beginning to develop a concept of joy . . .

Look round any bookshop, scour the web – it seems to be a lot more difficult than you would imagine to find any coherent definition of ‘joy’!
Below is a mind-map that brings together some of the initial ideas that seem to relate to how people define joy.
Joy Mind-map
Joy Mindmap