flash-nonfiction by Caroline Connolly

My face fell as I read the prompt, “In a world without joy…” I didn’t read any further. I didn’t like it. As a writer, I always think you should write about what you know, so this whole idea of a joyless life stumped me. It shocked me, I was wordless. No light bulb of inspiration was switching on, no thought bubbles pinging in my brain. My mind was a blank and I was exhausted. More than an hour staring at this prompt and I had nothing.

Then it dawned on me, a world without joy could not exist, therefore I could not write. Instant relief followed as I came up with a concrete argument for my lack of stories and ideas.Connolly

As human beings, do we not thrive on happiness and excel on elation? Does life not spring from joyfulness? Do we not sing for joy or jump with/for joy? It is part of our innermost self.

A joyless life is unimaginable, an existence of darkness. No pleasure, no glee, no bliss, never to become overjoyed. It was something I couldn’t imagine as I sat and pondered this writing prompt.

To never love or be loved. To never know passion or rapture.

If this is a world without joy, then indeed I am happy, joyful to say the least, that I am stuck for words and unable to contrive a story or tale that does not contain joy.

I will remain true to myself. I will live a life filled with passion, love, happiness, laughter, and friendships strong and true. I will live with love and faithfulness. I will write about what I know best. I will write of hot summer days ringing with children’s laughter, birds singing in the trees, of fun filled hours with friends, all the mad crazy things that enter my head, because that is who I am, and my life is filled.

But most of all, I will write with joy.

Caroline Connolly is an Irish writer with a passion for storytelling. She lives in a small village with her husband and children and is actively working on a number of short stories for publication.