Joie de vivre and other little treasures.

young-adult-old-soul-writing-magic-realism-manka-kasha
Art by : Manka Kasha

I was going through old boxes of memories and melancholy a little while back.

I am still decluttering, you see, trying to find my way to peaceful minimalism. The great fun in those dusty cardboard boxes is finding little treasures from back in the day and reminiscing, travelling to a glorified past for the afternoon. Sometimes you find objects you had all but forgotten about wasting away under layers of dust, even though you used them all the time back then and they are now infused with your energy.

I found the oddest thing there.

Nestled in between old Maths copybooks (why is that even there? Definitely going in the trash) and a sky blue hand band I wore just about everyday when I was 16, was this feeling. Not the melancholy that gently moves my heart, but something more profound, more ancient.

A feeling I was born with.

A feeling that I lost somewhere along the way, probably during a rainy day when I was growing up. As I contemplated all the darkness I was going to have to face alone, it must have slipped from me.

Joie de vivre.

The joy of living.

It is small, exultant, consistent. Like a heartbeat, like a child eager to see the world.

I sincerely did not wake up that day thinking that this would happen. Actually, joie de vivre had become an impossibility somehow. That kind of constant ‘happiness’ belonged only to childhood and children, in my mind. Like milk teeth that fall out and never come back, instead replaced by stronger, more resistant ones, I thought ‘happiness’ had been forever replaced by fleeting joy.

That’s probably messed up, but I thought the highest the happiness-metre could go was “content”— overjoyed, exultant, well, that’s new.

But it is this observation that did it :  “I sincerely did not wake up that day thinking that this would happen.”. There I was that ordinary afternoon, sat on the floor, surrounded by boxes and memories when this thought awoke something deeply ingrained in me. What other wonderful, foreign thing could there be to look forward to tomorrow? What comes next? I can’t wait to find out! 

Yeah. Holy crap.

I cannot believe this. Even though I’ve been having a string of mostly miserable days, this is also what I get to feel, on-and-off. It’s not constant yet, but it’s there.

That’s new. Well actually, it’s really not.

H o l y  c r a p . 

I’m freaking out a little.


Note : I actually like how this one turned out! And I am still freaking out lol.

Listening to :

5 thoughts on “Joie de vivre and other little treasures.”

  1. Nestled between old maths notebooks and the hand band was a “feeling”?!!! – how on this earth do you even think like this? Leave just thinking, you even convert such abstract thoughts into these wonderful posts so gracefully. I don’t get it. Even if I get whacky thoughts anywhere near to this, I struggle to put those in words. It would be just one or two confusing lines and that’s it. I won’t get anything because it’s a peculiar feeling. But you don’t just bring your magic realism to life, your line is thought is on whole another level.

    As for this post, ‘Joie de Vivre’ is the one to be found. You are shown what it’s like, (so that you know how it feels when you eventually find it) and then it is taken away from you, momentarily. You have to search for it. That’s a little game life plays with us. I have been searching myself but we should know it’s out there, somewhere. We just have to look a little harder.

    Also, please don’t freak out. It’s ok 🙂

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    1. One of the things that’s most important to me when I write is to convey these feelings I cannot name. These moments are to me the closest I can get to what I feel is the “truth”. I can’t quite explain it even now, but it makes me beyond happy that it’s something that can be felt through writing. I mean, writing is a translation of that feeling into words and so much is lost in this process. If that feeling has survived translation, well, I think that’s the greatest compliment I’ve ever received, thank you! I do spend a few hours on these pieces though, so I have some time to rewrite, tweak and edit a number of my posts. Sometimes I will forget that I ever wrote a blog post and come back to it weeks, months later to edit. I think in some cases it helps to have that distance. But the best way to connect to your thoughts/feelings (for me) is to just focus on them. A not-insignificant part of writing is reflection, for me 🙂

      Also, you’re totally right about joie de vivre! What a way to look at things 🙂 You get it in the first place to know what it’s like, you lose it so you can find it and in that quest, find both meaning and joie de vivre 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If a part your nameless feeling is lost in translation and yet touch us this beautifully, I could only marvel over it in its entirety. What do you feel, Ilah? But whatever I get to read is well enough to experience that wave of immense joy 🙂

        I do agree coming back to post days, months or even years later with a fresh perspective and gauge how much does it hold true or how do things have changed since then. Also, there is no way to do complete justice with a topic except going all in and let it devour you till the time you have written it out (for me). Even then, you are not quite sure but well, you have done your part, right? 🙂

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        1. It sounds poetic when you say it, but in reality it’s just me zoning out for long periods of time lol. Seriously though, I like to catch this kind of feeling at unlikely places, during unlikely times. 2 a.m.s, rooftops, balconies, yellowed memories. It’s the easiest way to say how I feel : like 2 a.m conversations or the feeling of running with the breeze so fast you feel you are about to take off. And you,what inspires your writing?

          You’re so right. I can never know when a piece is done. I’m such a perfectionist that I could just keep at it endlessly lol. But I like your approach, there comes a time when you do say to yourself there’s no more you can do. There’s such wisdom in that,I feel 🙂

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