Cherish Joy

von Tosca d’Angelo

(c) Tosca d’Angelo

Nothing makes me happier than creating.
Taking my hands
and bringing something into this world,
which didn’t exist before.
Stories are words and words are just letters,
but letters can be turned into entire universes.
Isn’t that the most marvellous thing?

I’ve always been drawn to the Arts –
whether it be literary, visual or performance art.
Maybe because you don’t have to be good at anything to create art
or because art is self-expression
or maybe because art is freedom.

Society keeps telling us this great lie,
if your art
– or better said, your product –
is not enjoyed by others,
it has no worth.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a product,
I mean, I watched the first season of “Heartstopper” like 10 times,
so who would I be to say that a finished product isn’t worthy of enjoyment.
But art is not only a product,
art is also a process.

That process has its own worth,
and it’s not dependent on good reviews.
you might not be happy with how your project turned out,
but were you happy creating it?

“Dance like nobody is watching”
Why does anybody have to be watching at all?
Can’t we dance happily by ourselves and for ourselves?

I have a few unfinished stories saved somewhere,
stories that I have no intention of finishing
and don’t particularly enjoy rereading,
but that doesn’t negate the joy I felt when I wrote them.

Can’t we just dance and write and sing and paint,
because it brings us joy?
Can’t we just cherish
being and doing and creating?
Isn’t that enough?

I’ll never understand, how we can make fun of things that bring others joy.
Isn’t there enough suffering,
enough hate and ignorance in this world already?
Shouldn’t we try to squeeze all the good that we can,
out of this one life?

Every day,
I try to find and gather all the joy I can,
because joy is my greatest treasure.
I sing silly songs for my cat,
celebrate new leaves on my plants,
and I smile at the paint stains on my fingers.

Little things,
everyday things,
but joy nonetheless.
Small joys might be easier to find than big ones,
but they’re just as precious.
After all,
joy can’t really be measured.
It can be cherished though.

Finding joy in others,
family, friends or strangers
is a beautiful thing
and I don’t want to minimise its importance,
but finding joy,
untethered from others,
is beautiful too.
Because once you find that joy,
you know you’ll be okay,
no matter what.

I love being easily excitable,
it doesn’t take a lot to make me smile
and that’s not an accident.
Not everyone gets a second chance at life,
so I consider myself very lucky.
I don’t intend to waste it.

Life is like art to me.
People focus too much on the product
and forget all about the process.
We rush through our lives,
let autopilot take over to accomplish arbitrary goals
and we forget that life,
is not a series of individual dots marked by achievements,
but a woven string of experiences and thoughts and emotions.

Bad things happened and bad things will keep happening,
we’ll never be in control of that.
Parts of that string will be dark and seemingly endless,
but we are responsible for weaving in the brightness,
to gather all the joy and the love and the beauty
and let it bring some lightness into our life.

Future parts of my string are already painted
because chronic pain is,
and when I fear their arrival,
I remind myself,
no matter how bad tomorrow might be,
combining the right ingredients will always make incredible focaccia
and closing my laptop at night will make my cat scream in excitement for wet food.
Cold apple juice will taste like the best thing ever,
burying myself underneath fluffy blankets will bring me comfort,
listening to certain songs will feel sacred
and writing,
writing will always be my everything.

Life without joy is no life at all,
so cherish joy with every fibre of your being.
Cherish joy,
like your life depends on it,
because it does.
It really does.

Tosca d’Angelo ist Studentin an der PH Zürich. Am Schreibwettbewerb PH Goes Poetry 2022 belegte sie den 2. Platz.

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