Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Joie de vivre

This topic isn’t easy due to recent events. Actually, it hasn’t been easy since that day in May 2013. Ever since my 2013 burnout and subsequent 18 month depression, joie de vivre doesn’t come natural anymore. Faith, Hope and Love also keep me going; see my 15 March 2023 blog.

Faith and religion are two separate items. I’m not religious while I have lots of faith. All religions are collective, man-made and the source of many human conflicts. Faith is an individual, divine connection with a Supreme Being, like Ahura MazdaAllahGodShiva, or – for me – Yahweh.

I prefer not to elaborate on those recent events as it may jeopardise their privacy. Still, these events make me question my own joie de vivre. Everyone knows the meaning of joie de vivre (eg, Lebenslust, levenslust, zest for life), while no one can answer the how, what, when, where or why.

I have no clue how to help them. I’m not even sure if they want to receive (my) help. In my case, I just wondered about my priorities in life and – ultimately – made a choice. My choice was helped by divine intervention though. Ever since, it has been easier to understand my purpose in life.

In 2016, Joan asked me whether I agreed with her choice. I did and she was happy hearing that. I’ve never had any doubts about it. I’ve even defended her choice against her church, who attacked her choice. She was too weak to fight them. She smiled at me for defending her choice.

Recently, I learned that my former neighbour has died at the age of 100+. Some 10 years ago, she suddenly told me that she had lost her joie de vivre because everyone, whom she had once known, had already died. She held no religious views. Still, she became interested in learning about faith.

At a certain age, our notion of joie de vivre will be replaced by the notion of having lived a completed life. Writing is my way to delay that latter notion.

“She wanted to live, and live fully, and to give life, she who loved life! What was the good of existing, if you couldn’t give yourself?”

A quote from La joie de vivre (1883-84) by Émile Zola (1840-1902), a French novelist

Yah Mo B There (1983) by James Ingram & Michael McDonald

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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