Tales of Joy #1

Hola, my dear readers.

Harvesting veggies in the community garden

I like to imagine each year is totally different from the one preceding it….

But I do seem to recall that the exact same thing occurred last year …

I arrived here in the lovely town of La Paz (Baja Sur) and sloughed into a pleasantly vegetative state, setting up my little 1950’s kitchen, getting my drinking water, renting a bicycle…. And revisiting my favorite sacred spots…

And same as last year, it took a few weeks and several sweet but persistent inquiries from y’all e.g.

Uuuuh, are you going to tell us where you are, dear Joy?

to wake me up.

And when I finally did get inspired to write something, my computer crashed. Just like last year it took another couple weeks to get that up and running, with help from the same guy, last year’s neighbor, Chuck. Except Chuck now lives down the block.

I have no neighbors here at the hacienda…Maria and Clemente have decided to retire from hosting. I’m the only one welcome to be here, as more of a family friend.

Yes, I feel completely blessed and privileged.

No pilates, yoga or dance classes this year.

…And amidst all this stillness, I’ve been forced to look into the clear pond-like reflection of my own mind and admit what I see, dear readers:


An ALPHA JUNKIE (a phrase that I made up … And it may not even be technically correct in terms of brainwave definitions) refers to the various levels of awareness that the mind can dwell in.

My mind has become a bit flat and two-dimensional, consumed by the weight of near-constant engagement. I have become addicted this entire year to keeping it ENGORGED with data.

Daily doses of Youtube monologues by Stephen Colbert and Noah Trevor were my gateway drug, plus SNL on the weekend. Then I gradually slid into CNN, NBC, Washington Post, New York Times, Democracy Now, Glen Kirchner, Robert Reich and other political commentaries, every damn day for several months, with subtly dissolving boundaries regarding my consumption.

Our national and global slide towards the brink of fascism and the end times (ecologically) became the most compelling cliff-hanger in my world.

Honestly, I felt proud that I “knew stuff” and could recite it, like a clever parrot, better than anybody else.

Are any of these things “bad” or blameworthy?

Oh, no.

Has it become out of proportion for my balance, vitality and creativity, locking out the subtler dimensions?


In response to my awareness and prayers, it was obvious I had to

Back away from the cellphone.

Is there anything wrong with taking a photo of the sunrise?

Of course not.

Had it become a compulsory habit, and therefore one step removed from being present?


My immersion into the news and then the need to de-stress from the news has been sucking the life out of my days and nights!

Just one more article

became a constant refrain, like any drunk who can’t quite leave the bar; like millions of housewives who are enslaved to their daily television soap-opera, in every culture…

I have traditionally used these Tales, dear readers, as a sort of confessional, where y’all co-witness my transgressions.

Then I, hopefully, move on. Your prayers are gratefully accepted.

I self-administered a five-day media fast. Yet the compulsion lingers nearby. I’m the recovering drunk with a one-week chip in her pocket… whose breath still harbors a trace of Jack Daniels….


…Read the complete newsletter #1 (Click Here to view/download pdf)