Radical Joy Revealed
January 13, 2016
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Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe.

Amazing nebula
The Monkey Head nebula. Photo by NASA

We call our organization, our movement Radical Joy for Hard Times. We believe that it is both urgent and vital to meet with open eyes and open hearts the desecration of the places we love. And then, in that openness, to let ourselves be pierced with the beauty of the world, the mystery of life, and the immense possibilities for confronting all happens to us.

Such joy is different from mere happiness, as this poem expresses. The poet, Alla Renee Bozarth, is a Russian, Celtic, Osage American poet, who lives at the foot of Mt. Hood in western Oregon and has published twenty prose and poetry books.   
 
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF JOY
 
"Live to the point of tears" -Albert Camus
 
 
Happiness means to be in harmony with what happens.
One cannot always be happy, for horrid things happen
daily in the world, worthy of distress and compassion.
The body succumbs to the scars laid on it by time,
and its workings are not always happy.
 
The mind and heart, too, can break away from happiness
under overwhelming stress.
 
Mind and heart seem to break clean through.
Joy does not depend on aye or nay circumstance
in regions of the pursuit and practice of happiness.
 
Joy exists in the soul as a sovereign and radiant place,
a free and independent state.
 
Even in sorrow, its presence breaks through anew,
crossing bridges of loss as sunlight crosses a river,
with the promise of whole-hearted faithfulness-
 
Joy reveals itself, the fact of itself, in new possibilities,
at once inviting us into them and assuring us that they are alive
deep inside us, a gathering light deeper than grief, where all is well.
 
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Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community of people dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth. 
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