musings about food, travel, creativity and life

I Wonder


And I’ve been wondering since I first came up with the idea of “Bring Joy to the Table.”   How do I write about “joy” when I’m not feeling it, when world or personal events have me mad, or sad. Which is the deeper value–authenticity or joy? If only I could choose both. Maybe I can.

For most of us, the Senate Judiciary hearings this past week were painful, though thankfully with a ray of hope at the end. As I tuned in to hear the testimony, I was also getting ready for a two day conference called Conversations with Exceptional Women: Finding Her Voice.

The conference was hosted by the Alturas Institute, an organization devoted to civic education, gender equality and civil discourse. The many speakers included Nobel Peace prize winner/activist Jody Williams who worked to help ban land mines, and Caroline Heldman who worked to support victims of sexual abuse, particularly in the Bill Cosby case. There were many other outstanding women from almost every field: government and politics, literature, clinical psychiatry, screen writing, banking, and education. It was two days of thoughtful, intelligent, inspiring discussion about women and the professional paths they’ve chosen that have made positive differences in other people’s lives.

I was impressed with the hopeful, resilient attitudes of these women who are out there doing incredibly courageous things. As I listened and talked with other conference participants, I began to feel empowered to be more courageous myself, to speak my truth and act on it.  Along with this, I know I want to focus on the good, on inspiration, on bringing as much “joy to the table” as I can. Can I do both? I believe I can. 

SO…this time, blog readers, my ode to joy is in the form of gratitude–for having attended a conference which has given me new ideas and a reading list of inspiring books by strong women, for being able to share it with my husband who also attended the conference, and for the vibrant fall colors in Sun Valley that make me say, “Wow! I’m so thankful to be alive.”

11 thoughts on “I Wonder”

  • It’s been a hard week to watch TV. I like your postings, Lynn. The focus on joy…having just come back from Oregon, the beauty of Fall has begun. It makes me happy…Carrick

    • I’m glad my postings can provide some happy feelings for you, Carrick. That has been my hope! And I’m so
      glad you got to experience Fall in Oregon. What gifts these glorious Autumn leaves are!

  • You are so right Lynn. Glad you and John were able to participate I. What was obviously a most inspiring event. I can only imagine the fall beauty of Sun Valley. EnJOY. Say hello to Cosii, oh yes, to dear John as well.🤟

  • Maybe you skip writing at the time you are feeling sad and wait until you have wrapped yourself around those feelings and see the whole picture…maybe you wait for the joy to find you again.

    That is a good question for self-reflection.

    • What sage advice, Kelly. Thank you for taking time to address my dilemma. And I love the concept of waiting “for the joy to find you again.”

  • The “table” is not just joyous relief or distraction at this challenging time, it is deeply essential. It is community and strength in numbers. It is nourishment for the fight. Thank you for your thought provoking sharing!!

    • You’re so right, Kathy, about the bigger meaning of “table.” There are so many ways to look at what we are each willing/able
      to bring to the table. It can be a gathering place for nourishment of all kinds. And I am noticing how many books and events
      of late have the word “gathering” in them. Perhaps there is a great felt-need for that now. Thank you!

  • A thought provoking question, Lynn………how does one find joy in the midst of turmoil and deeply troubled feelings?? For me the state of joy is different than my changing feelings, deeper and more constant. It comes from within me; whereas the mad, sad and glad are elicited by outside forces. The challenge is to hold fast to the joy in the midst of it all.
    Oh! How I would have loved the Women’s Conference! Sounds so inspiring!

    • What a lovely differentiation between what is deeply within us and what are the other moods
      more induced by outside forces, as you call them. And “amen” to your statement about the challenge–to try to
      get to and recognize the deeper feelings of joy and gratitude. Thanks so much for your reflections.

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