On joy – On Writing by Davita Joie

It’s not the big moments. At least not for me. My life has largely been devoid of those multiple, milestone events that we would normally associate with joyous occasions.

Ah, but the small moments. My life has been replete with tiny, wondrous moments of joy that inspire both gratitude and the gravitational pull to put pen to paper. Cradling a sleeping child, my nieces’ laughter, friends and family gathered in my home around food that I prepared, intimate conversations, a poignant line from the poem of a dear friend, a neighbor’s puppy who lays at my feet, with wagging tail begging to be touched, a firefly on a warm night, my daughter (anything and everything to do with that amazing creature), artistry in any form that moves me to tears; this is joy. It goes without saying (but I’m saying it anyway) any salon service you can think of also fits in this category.

These are the moments of joy that propel me to write. These are the moments where hidden truths are unearthed, where stories are discovered, where the lines that divide us are torn and our shared humanity is exposed. And for me, as a woman and as an artist, these miniscule moments are the lifelines that pull me back from the brink of despair, that keep me from a perpetual state of mourning, and remind me to give place to hope.

This muse rescues me. Writing saves my life. And I hope, when others read my work, joy is what keeps them returning to the well.


Davita Joie is from the Bay Area of California (by way of upstate New York) and recently graduated with her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She is currently turning her thesis into a book called “The Boxer’s Daughter”, a collection of essays and is also working on a second book of poems about the 1957 unsolved murder of her aunt.  She is also furiously trying to find a way to turn her literary life into a paying gig.