Enraptured by the Joy of Others

I can’t help but be enraptured when others express their joy and delight in the things that they do. My heart fills with such delight that my only response is to laugh and giggle, like a little boy. The inner child in me fighting its way to the surface.

So, why this obsession with the joy of others? Three things come to mind that have recently filled me with joy and delight to the point of giggling.

Dream Theater Drummer Auditions

When long-time Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy left the band earlier this year, I was deeply saddened and worried about the future of the band. I have been an avid and loyal Dream Theater fan for roughly 20 years, so like the majority of the fans, I was shocked.

Last night, I watched episodes 1 and 2 of Dream Theater’s documentary series, “The Spirit Carries On.” Seven drummers were chosen to audition for the band and watching each drummer play Dream Theater songs, jam and improvise along with the band was amazing. Two drummers in particular were so energetic and full of joy and delight, that I instantly started jumping up and down in my soul, allowing the laughter to erupt.

Mike Mangini’s facial expressions and technical virtuosity was unbelievable. I didn’t think it couldn’t get any better until Marco Minnemann hit the kit and had a look of pure enjoyment and joy on his face as he played some of the most technically advanced music I can think of.

You can check out the documentary series on Roadrunner Records YouTube page or watch episode 2 below.

The Matrix Trilogy Philosopher’s Commentary

One of the benefits of being a DVD junkie is that I love buying collector edition box sets. One of my favorite collection of DVDs is The Matrix Trilogy. Hours upon hours of special features combined with a very unique commentary track available on all three Matrix films, the philosopher’s commentary with Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilber.

Not only is the discussion of the philosophy amazing, but at key moments, the pure joy and spectacle of the imagery breaks through the intellectual discourse and reduces two highly intelligent men to laughter, silence and even giggles.

I can’t deny the power of joy and for me there is one more expression of joy that I hear in my head constantly as the benchmark of joy.

The Terry Gilliam Giggle

Watching “Lost in La Mancha,” a documentary of Terry Gilliam’s disastrous attempt at a movie based on Don Quixote, one not only gets a glimpse of madness and chaos, but in crucial moments, joy.

Three large men, giants, come crashing towards the camera, and all Terry Gilliam can do is giggle like a child. Even in the grip of failure, the joy of filmmaking is enough to propel him towards the creation of joy-enriched frames, expressed by an infectious giggle.

Without Joy?

These three examples of the expression of joy remind me that the work I do and the life I live needs to be full of joy and meaning. When others see the emotions I express, they are going to be filled with a response. What better response than the giggle of joy.