a fine line. the place between pre-joy and joy. for mike libecki there is no space on the continuum between the two. it is merely one or the other. pre-joy or joy.
mike is a mountain climber. because i am an obsessive mountain-climbing-video-documentary-movie-watcher, we watched him and cory richards in their national geographic antarctic mountain climb to summits not reached before. it was brutal. the wind. the weather. the elements of the climb. agonizingly difficult.
but mike was adamant, stating above the furious wind again and again, “it’s either joy or pre-joy.” any moment of torturous climbing or bearing the effects of the weather was a moment of ‘pre-joy’. all other moments were ‘joy’. it’s an amazing way to look at things. an amazing way to look at life. everything leads to joy. you are always in joy or on your way there.
in what we would describe as a watershed time, this short quote is a lesson in staying grounded. in sentiment i have heard before, but never as succinctly shorthand, a reminder to look always to the light, the horizon, not backwards, not at the dark, not measuring in the negative. re-group, re-center, re-evaluate, re-perspective-arrange and move through pre-joy to joy. a cup always with something in it, never empty. always a portion waiting for you to add to it, make the best assumptions, hope, appreciate, carry the jug to the next waterhole for it is there. “we must live sweet,” mike says.
we carry the torch so often for the negative. we moan and complain and gossip and pick fights. in this roller coaster of life, what about carrying the torch for joy? what about lighting the way for yourself, for others, helping to find the light, the joy? believe that we are only an ice-pick or a few carabiners or a length of rope away. we are on the mountain. all of us.
i would like to try to remember this “it’s either pre-joy or joy” and live and work and play by it.
because i believe in joy and the sheer power, potential of joy; it’s a force. i just need remember to believe that all roads lead there. one day is joy. the next is pre-joy. it is all on the same continuum. it is all the same life. we all share the same possibility. all paths summit.