Takuin's Joy

November Project: Final Question #30 This question comes from my wife, Akiko.

What are your TOP 10 joys in life?

Gee, I wonder who is going to make it onto this list? ;)

Well, these lists can never be definitive. We cannot say there is a solid top 10, because there are millions of things we might find joyous.

But really, joy is a gut thing...it is something you feel before thought has a chance to interfere. In other words, joy strikes us as joyous without our need to think it is joyous.

Keeping that in mind, I will just think for a bit, and when I feel that joy rise up on its own, I'll know it is the right direction.

Here we go...and remember, these are things that give me a gut reaction of joy.

In no particular order (although, we all know the best things usually come last):

10. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show

A show children can enjoy, but it was not necessarily made for kids. I think adults probably loved this show more than the kids themselves. And if you've seen it, you probably understand why.

9. Trees

I have loved trees since I was a child. Something tall, stretching out to the sky, alive, and it would not move when I tried to push it. I was fascinated...

The Woods

I had a favorite tree when I was a child. I wonder if it is still alive?

8. Cats

I just can't explain it. Cats love me, and I love them.

Young and Old Versions

7. Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon is the first painter to bring the intimacy of the art to Takuin.

The first time I saw his work, I knew it as if I knew the contour of my own hand. It was in that moment, I understood painting.

I don't know why this happened, or why it is his work specifically brought about this realization, but I thank him for it.

A delightful and charming man, full of joy in the eyes of Takuin. Thank you, Francis.

6. Gen

My USA Fender Stratocaster.


5. Flowers

I spoke a bit on this topic here and here.


4. Paco de Lucia

THE virtuoso flamenco guitarist of his generation. When I hear him play, the rest of the world is completely shut off. I first heard him when I was a teenager, and my life as a musician was never the same again.

3. Frédéric Chopin

I don't know what I can say about Chopin. Our relationship is long, and becomes richer with each passing year.

Just recently, I finished my collection of Chopin's sheet music, and I now own everything he ever wrote, including all of the posthumous works (even the Devil's Trill prelude discovered a few short years ago...I am a Chopin nerd).

My feeling with Chopin is similar to my feeling with Francis Bacon. There is something so completely transferred when I hear his music; an understanding that is beyond any ability I might have to describe it.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth, so dig out those old records and your gramophone and pay your respects!

This is my favorite pianist, Vladimir Horowitz, playing my favorite Chopin Nocturne, E minor op.72 no.1. This is also the same music Doc Holliday played on piano in the film Tombstone (I told you I am a Chopin nerd).

2. Sakura, Kounosuke, and Hikari

My niece, nephew, and niece.




1. Akiko Minamoto

I don't have the words to express the proper amount of joy for this...I'll let Sir Arthur Conan Doyle give it a shot:

To Sherlock Holmes she is always THE woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name.

In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex...there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.

Dr. Watson in "A Scandal in Bohemia" The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892)

I guess I feel the same as Sherlock Holmes...

Akiko on the Beach


What brings joy to all of you? Post a comment below, as I would love to hear about some of your joys in this life.

Thank you to everyone for making this November Project very special! I'll post on the aftermath of this series in a couple of days. For now, I am going to take a break! ;)

Echoes of the Mind

There is a richness to living that is, in itself, a never-ending movement. If one is able to see clearly; to sit within one's little house, seeing the beauty present in the warped wood, the cracked tile, and the rotting floorboards; one finds a liberation beyond the words we've all been taught about liberation. Vibrant, filled with echoes of the fallen brothers and sisters of the mind...

...I cannot mourn for their loss.

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