Friday, August 5, 2011

Bringing Forth a Thousand Joys


If you are reading this, then welcome back to my blog, which has been quiet for the past month or so, while I’ve given myself a well-earned period of time to relax and refresh.

This morning I found this quote from James Allen, 1864-1912, a British philosophical writer who penned the classic As a Man Thinketh, which, by following this link, you can actually read online (oh how I love the age of the internet!):

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,

And Man is mind, and evermore he takes

The tool of Thought, and shaping what he wills,

Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: --

He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:

Environment is but his looking – glass.”

Which stirs up a delicious idea. What if I were to commit myself to bringing forth a thousand joys in my artistic life, starting this very moment?

Earlier today, after reading this quote, I picked up my composition notebook and headed outside, engulfed by the dazzling sun, observing and writing every sensation, sound and scene unfolding around me… the warmth on my freshly-washed skin, the buzz of cicadas, birds launching into choruses from surrounding trees as the breezes played with the leaves. Then I walked out to the garden and slowly picked the first few ripe tomatoes, the tangy scent of them lingering on my hands after I twisted them off their stems.

What leads us away from this daily bounty of glorious sensations? And conversely, what can bring us back to them?

I’ve been away from my studio for the greater part of the past month. I’ve not blogged. I’ve been mostly spending time at our cottage, where I tether my floating raft to the dock and paddle around on it.

But creativity is s bit like yeast. Add a little warm water, a pinch of sugar and it begins to bubble. It is time to return to shaping and molding, first in thought and feeling – and then with my heart and hands.

So today I am declaring this my task: to acknowledge a thousand joys, shaping my experience and my life by my thoughts. 

Joy #1 –  It is a pleasure and honor to share authentically as an artist, maker and creative spirit with words and images on this blog -- and sometimes strike a responsive chord in others. Through blogging,  I can reflect, ponder, inspect, consider, celebrate and share my unique way of perceiving and responding to this incredibly rich and inspiring world.

Joy #2 – What hilarity to receive not just one but TWO wonderfully supportive comments on previous posts today.... just as I was debating whether to continue blogging anymore.

Would you like to acknowledge your own one thousand joys with me? Imagine the possibilities of THAT “going viral”!!


  1. Oh Jeez! You are inspiring me. What a wonderful thought!!

  2. nice post! I feel that energy of yours bubbling up. There are thousands of joys which we mostly forget to acknowledge. My current joys are the fine summer weather and adding some love to the outside of our (new to us) home by cleaning it and creating a Japanese garden. This has been my summer art project!

    And of course the joy of just being, as you so aptly describe.

  3. I love the idea of one thousand joys! What a wonderful way to focus one's life. My joy today is the bloom on our spider lily.

  4. beautiful artworks at the top. and glad you had a month to relax and refill. a thousand joys, a wonderful focus. my joy today is just being alive on a barefoot walking short wearing day in the quiet of the boonies.

  5. Wonderful post - I like the idea of a thousand joys. My joy today is going up into the mountains with a friend to pick blackberries.

  6. All your joys really do heighten my own senses. I'm going to try and create a separate page to collect these...and possibly illustrate them as well!

  7. I love what you wrote here .. I can tell I too sometimes consider quitting but I don't. I too want to create and live that life of creativity always. I find most of my joy outside playing in so many different ways. But yes .. i needed this .. refocus on my thousand joys .. I have many .. lets see if i can come up with a thousand.. thanks again!!! Oh and your work here is fabulous!!!

  8. Joy #1: What a joy to be infected with the viral 1000 joys.
    I'm in.