Joy Pops

Do you see what I see? Streams of Joy Pops rushing your way- and all you have to do is smile.


If you visit me on a regular weekday morning, I’ll probably be sitting in my usual spot in my bed, looking across to the other corner of the room. I am going through my semi-mandatory morning routine reading of the blog, but  given the tech holidays about to crash our lives, it’s all about 2023, of course:

  • 2023 Predictions: Innovations in Immersive Tech to Watch
  • Become a Data Scientist in 2023 with these 10 resources

And then – move over tech and sociopolitical tabs – here comes the real thing:


And to top it all off:

  • A Master Plan for 2023

Joy Pops

At this point, in this particular morning, if you peer over at that corner, you will see a creature, a humanoid, down on the floor, laughing hysterically, literally ROFL – rolling on the floor laughing – holding her belly, tears in her eye, along with loud, aggressive shrieking: “oh, no, really, really?? Geez, seriously?”. And this goes on … and on…

That’s me.

Puzzled, you wonder. What’s so funny?? What could possible trigger such an outburst?

I call it a Joy POP. Let me explain.

Imagine a little drop of water. Except it isn’t made of H2O hydrogen and oxygen atoms. No, it’s made of joy. (don’t ask for that chemical composition! I would not be sitting here if I knew that, right?!)

So, I got a Joy Pop out of reading these headlines. Why, I hasten to ask myself. Well, because, of course, I did! Anyone else here get these? No? So, that’ why.

But seriously now, the Joy Pop came down when I heard “2023”! What are you speaking of dear non-H2O? 2023? Does that even exist? Does it exist for me? No.

I have not had 2023 in my vocabulary for the year past– at least several months out of 2022. I was inching towards the end of 2022, at first, slow-walking, then, crawling, then in this strange mode of low dog pose, or some other yoga-inspired move that propels you forward in tiny increments. But walking straight into 2023?? No way. That was not in the cards. It was not in the plan.  It was just off the radar.

So there. I hear plans for 2023, and this hits me like a rock, like a Joy Pop!

Now imagine a whole bunch of Joy Pops. It’s a Joy Rain. They can be hard or soft, with a cotton-candy texture, or with a rubbery one. They can be a stream, or a lake. Small, medium, or large. Shiny little pebbles, marbles, shells, bursts, drops, whatever!! So much fun. They hit you out of nowhere and you poured out giggling.

They may be a one-time line-up that intercepts your body, or they may be a blanket you lie on. Soft and infinite, you sink into it, you stretch your body out, it soaks up the bad, discharges the good, and  it will fill you with itself.

So you are now looking for joy thingies. Anywhere you can find them. It brings vividly back to mind the long journey we took together to get to this point!

Remember when I was looking for the answers to the Big Questions? When I realized that there are only really two types of questions in life, and that to find some peace (at least for me to find some peace), I had to close in on the answers to the big two:

  1. What is reality?
  2. How should I live my life?

The Big Two questions

What is reality? Also known as:


What is truth, what is nature, what is the Universe, what is God, where do we all fit in the big scheme of things? I took the big tour of the skies and of the particles, and oh, dear, was it spectacular!!!

Traveling down the spine of a walking protein? Now, that’s got to raise the hair on your skin just so. Miracles. Still a lot unexplained, but wow, you can spend a highly fulfilling life chasing down the spectra of unknown elements. Remember our journey?

How we dove into hitting of the wall?  The life on the bleeding edge. The wheelchair. My heart in my mouth. The endless afterword of trauma. Mindfulness. Forgiveness. Ambiguity. All the science. The SPEEDING universe. The shrinking universe. The quantum reality. The nature of reality. The stars, the galaxies, the planets. Where we belong, where we land. The perceptions and realities in our heads.

So, that’s that – Question 1 boils down to this: What’s in my spaghetti sauce? Haha!!

The next Big Question is this:

How should I live my life? Or…


Complicated question, also. What’s good for me? For my kitchen floor? For my tomato-growing environment? For the tomato-waste? Ugh. It’s tough, this living thing!

How do I want to live my life? What is the meaning of my life?

Can we all slip into our respective shacks now, and go to sleep please? It’s a vast domain out there. From sand dunes to ocean bottoms, from the grand poetry to the epics. The Odyssey, and the Vedanta. The morality. How should I live my life?

Was it the cancer that made it all explode? My boom-attack from nowhere? Maybe. Or, I could have just stretched out the timeline, not deleted it. It would have delayed it to beyond the current lifetime limits.

So, now, I am out chasing Joy Pops, and that’s the end of that!

… On hearing the word “2023” – what a joy bomb! Or of hearing the irreverent, and the, oh, so succinct, David Deutsch, the British Physicist describe his Constructor Theory, that resolves a problem of Quantum Mechanics.

And how his face absolutely beams. As I am standing at the dining room table, at my family home in Athens, after an otherwise exhausting, but soul-filling day of swimming in the Mediterranean, I can feel his delight in my own bones. And I find myself, jumping up and down bathed in his very own joy. David Deutsch has found his Joy Pop. Look him up, it’s obvious!

The innocence of our appearance in life

Do you know where your joy pops are? Your cute, little jelly beans?

I don’t. They could be in the uttering of 2023 to me. You walk down the neighborhood, and they are everywhere:

The sweet, mischievous smile of the baby girl in the stroller.

The brand-new bud in the peach tree branch that makes you see the peach-to-be at the end of it.

The woman checking the fit of a new dress in the store mirror, visualizing the dinner with her beloved. She smiles, and I can’t help smiling back, and a joy pop lights up.

The Amazon page with the stack of books you want to read, the adventures you imagine living in them. Another joy pop for me.

The plane crossing the skies above you, in whose white, hot, humid exhaust you can see your own burning to escape, to be up there over new vistas.

If you only let them, they will all bring out the smile. The one that reinvents the innocence of our appearance in this life every time. Each one a new Joy Pop, one you can live off of.

Find your innocence.

But here’s what I want you to do now. As you are sitting there, with those that care for you, or, with your indifferent, train-ride , or the burned-out and downright hostile, or whoever, turn around. Fix on one person. Find a Joy Pop on them. Smile warmly (Why smile any other way, right?).

Imagine it rolling down the floor, bouncing, like pink, mauve, and baby-blue pastel dots, that made you laugh at the carnival stand when you were a kid, remember that?


It tickles you going down your spine. You giggle, and you roll on the floor laughing! Another life-giving moment – and you can use each one of them. Go for the Joy Pop tickle!

We’ll meet there… You will notice me because I’ll be smiling at myself. We are back on the Adventure!


  • Jacqueline Scarcello
    Posted at 04:45h, 18 December

    What a journey through the universe and way beyond all miraculously created from one small room or was it? It seems there are no walls and boundaries here
    Love to you and how you touch my soul,dear Marina

  • Marina K
    Posted at 10:46h, 18 December


  • Emily
    Posted at 14:36h, 18 December

    So that’s what I’ve been chasing? Joy pops! Oh yes! Sole and soulful -a purpose in retrospect- a promise in the unfolding future. Joy Pops for everyone. Love you Marina.