It has been a long while since I have updated.  My journey is complete, however, and I think that to re-cap I will share the numbers of things that I have accomplished.

Total Audience Count:  1,528 people

Total Number of Joyful Moments:  407

Approximate Number of Hours in Performance:  61

Number of Adventures Had:  Countless!

This is what has been accomplished so far.  There will now be two Joy Books.  One of them will be child appropriate, complete with illustrations.  However, the second will include all of the joyful moments collected as well as the in-depth story of adventures in collecting joy around the United States for Puppets ‘n’ People.  Look for these to be published online by January.  I will keep posting occasionally and will post when they are complete.

My visits to Bismarck and Fargo were very fast, but they were very nice.  It was odd being in a familiar place once more where  I knew lots of people.  I believe that being around new people so often allowed me to more fully become myself.  I acted as only I would act because I did not know when I would see those I had met again.  I believe that this carried over to seeing my friends in Bismarck and Fargo once again.  If anything, this journey has taught me to be me.

I had a two day bus ride back to Bismarck in order to visit my parents and grab some things to finally move to Minneapolis.  This gave me plenty of time to process.  In the end I decided that there is no single definition of joy that can apply to all situations.  After all, a dry, academic definition is usually less useful or applicable to real life.  So, as Mr. E. would say, “What is joy?  Let us watch and find out.”

Joy is to be yourself.

Joy is a choice made anew in each moment.

Joy is in solitude.

Joy is in meaningful relationships with other people.

Joy comes from unexpected surprises.

Joy comes from a sense of accomplishment.

Joy comes from living NOW in THIS MOMENT.

Joy is not selfish.

Joy is not fleeting if you find it in peace.

Joy is little.

Joy is big.

Joy is important.

These are all things that I have discovered about joy.  Finally, I had the words from a song stuck in my head the entire two day bus ride to Bismarck.  It is a song that is quite popular and the words are, “What do I stand for?”  I think that the answer to this question is in a constant state of change for each individual.  At this moment, however, I can say that I stand for:

Love

Joy

Life

Individualism

Nonviolence

Friendship

Family

Human rights

The complexity of simplicity

Slowing down

Puppets

Understanding

Peace

My wandering must come to an end, but I believe that my heart will keep wandering.  After all, wandering leads to discover, which seems absolutely vital to humanity.  I will keep my philosophical wanderings of the heart.  I think that with each moment I will attempt to choose joy.  With each moment I will answer the question with my actions and words, “What do I stand for?”

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