Sunday after church, as I headed out to pick up the girls at their grandmother's house, I stumbled across an interview with Kay Redfield Jamison on NPR concerning her new book, Exuberance. Jamison is the author of An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness (her personal experience with bipolar disorder), Touched with Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament (on the link between the two), and Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide. She's a psychiatrist and professor at John Hopkins Medical School and one of the world's foremost authorities on manic depression. She's also a writer who will take your breath away and knock your socks off.
Jamison has been researching the emotional state of exuberance for some time now, gathering information from a variety of sources. She says there is a surprising lack of words from the fields of medicine and psychiatry with which to describe exuberance . Surprisingly enough, she finally found the vocabulary she was looking for primaily in the field of theology. The arts--literature, visual arts, dance--were the next best source.
The link between creativity and joy, creativity and despair, creativity and emotions, period, gnaws at me. And now, to throw theology into the mix. Hmmm. . . Methinks Exuberance is a book to procure, peruse and ponder postehaste.