Jan 27, 2021JCLChrisK rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
Poet Gay decided he would adopt a practice for a year of paying attention to what delighted him and writing a daily "essayette" recording his related thoughts. This is his compilation of those journal entries. He writes in the prologue how the habit helped him develop a kind of "delight radar," as he became more aware of the delightful aspects of life at all times and happier for it, and his joy is apparent on every page.
Gay writes with an intentionally free-flowing, rambling style. It captures the personality and spontaneity of his process, and readers come to know him, in some ways intimately, over the course of entries. Sometimes he stays focused on the delight, describing it in depth and what he takes from it; more often he meanders into related thoughts spurred by the moment, delving into memories or meditative, sometimes heavy, territory. Each digression brings its particular rewards. Themes emerge: gardening, friends and family, public spaces, physicality, racism, music. Gay comes across as personable and at least somewhat gregarious. Most importantly, Gay comes across. The pages portray a living, breathing, tangible person, modeling an inspiring process that brings readers their own significant share of delight.