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Joy

  • Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.

  • For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.

  • Gloom we have always with us, a rank and sturdy weed, but joy requires tending.

  • When the great joys are stilled, the minor ones must sing.

  • Joy is a spiritual element that gives vicissitudes unity and significance.

  • And, through and over everything, / A sense of glad awakening.

  • The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.

  • The trick is not how much pain you feel — but how much joy you feel. Any idiot can feel pain. Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live, excuses, excuses, excuses.

  • It's easier to write about pain than about joy. Joy is wordless.

  • The same quickness which makes a mind buoyant in gladness often makes it gentlest and most sympathetic in sorrow.

  • There are joys so complete, so all perfect, that one should not survive them.

  • ... the source of one's joy is also often the source of one's sorrow.

  • ... laughing is not the first expression of joy. ... A person laughs in idleness, for fun, not for joy. Joy has nothing, nothing but the old way of tears ...

  • Joy is being fully aware of reality ...

    • Simone Weil,
    • in Thierry Gossit, ed., Wendy Brennan, trans., Women Mystics of the Contemporary Era ()
  • ... I think joy is just as instructive as pain, and I like it better. I never meant to suffer any more than I could help; my nature was meant for happiness, a daylight art and living.

  • Resistance is the secret of joy!

  • For each ecstatic instant / We must an anguish pay / In keen and quivering ratio / To the ecstasy.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1859, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • The second half of joy / Is shorter than the first.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • ... I am one of those people who just can't help getting a kick out of life — even when it's a kick in the teeth.

  • Why should we need extra time in which to enjoy ourselves? If we expect to enjoy our life, we will have to learn to be joyful in all of it, not just at stated intervals when we can get time or when we have nothing else to do.

  • ... joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.

  • I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.

  • The joy of a spirit is the measure of its power.

  • Oh who can tell the range of joy / Or set the bounds of beauty?

  • When a little pleasure has flashed for a moment against the dark, I have made that jewel mine. I have hundreds of them ... I call it my Necklace of Perfect Joy. When the world goes wrong, I have only to close my eyes and remember all the links in my chain, set with gems, some large and some small, but all beautiful with the beauty which never fades. It is all I can take with me when I go. My material possessions must stay behind, but my Necklace of Perfect Joy will bring me happiness to the end, when I put it on, to be nevermore unclasped.

  • I've learned that the only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it.

  • Authentic success is living each day with a heart overflowing.

  • Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness — happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you're lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love.

  • The great sea / frees me, moves me, / as a strong river carries a weed. / Earth and her strong winds / move me, take me away, / and my soul is swept up in joy.

    • Uvavnuk,
    • in Knud Rasmussen, Report of the Fifth Thule Expedition ()
  • I can't believe you've come back, / like the train I missed so badly, barely, / which stopped & returned for me. It scared me, / humming backwards along the track.

  • ... I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!

    • Louise Bogan,
    • 1953, in Ruth Limmer, ed., What the Woman Lived ()
  • Words are less needful to sorrow than to joy.

  • Every joy digs its own grave.

  • ... you will I trust find heaviness may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

  • You have to sniff out joy, keep your nose to the joy-trail.

  • There is no such thing as the pursuit of happiness, but there is the discovery of joy.

  • Ecstasy cannot be constant, or it would kill.

  • She knew there were only small joys in life — the big ones were too complicated to be joys when you got all through — and once you realized that, it took a lot of the pressure off.

  • It is not easy always to be joyful, to keep in mind the duty of delight.

  • Rapture's self is three parts sorrow.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "Happiness." Sword Blades and Poppy Seeds ()
  • People need joy quite as much as clothing. Some of them need it far more.

  • Joy could be as exhausting as grief.

  • Zelma gospel-skipped so quick in her deep-blue robe whirling with every step she took, somebody had to unwrap the guitar from around her neck. She was a jubilee all by herself.

    • Joyce Carol Thomas,
    • "Young Reverend Zelma Lee Moses," in Daryl Cumber Dance, ed., Honey, Hush! ()
  • ... all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

  • He could bear unhappiness, but he had no defenses against joy.

  • Dance in the fullness of time.