Enjoyment and Joy
A few weeks ago I was going back and forth with a friend about the pleasures of wine tasting. He subsequently sent me an e-mail that helped me make the link between physical enjoyment and what we used to call one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, joy.
“There’s something immensely important about certain forms of pleasure. I’m thinking of wine and cigars and chocolate. But one might argue the same of gardening and running and all forms of art. These kinds of activity exercise the embodied registers of value that connect us to the physical universe of mammals and bodies, but also articulate the realm of spirit, that is, the domain of culture that is characteristically human, and human in its best form. When we engage in embodied forms of knowing we change our relationship to the universe. We affirm it, but we also somehow transcend it, by which I
don’t mean we travel to heaven and leave the world behind, but add to the physical universe a level of being that is our species’ task to make and contribute. Spirit is about stretching language to touch taste and feeling and memory and fragrance.”