For you I cannot answer, but I can certainly enumerate a few preferences — of such a thing as Lewis claims to have found, Joy, and the never-ending hunt for what brings Joy is a subject likely to communicate our differences. For we all pursue it by ways seemingly incommunicable with others’ paths. Perhaps extroverts do not hunt for it in a like fashion — I should require another’s testimony on the subject. But a matter of ‘taste’, as it seems discussion of enjoyment engenders, is something one can only appreciate when one shares a similar joy in tasting /this/ — it is not enough to say ‘I concede it possible to like such a thing, though I do not.’ This is no reconciliation.
It is holiday and the day-dreaming about holidays; the satisfaction of true labor — a labor which need not reflect for its perfection; bold, rich, and deep laughter; that which is surely shared though indescribable — better hinted towards than expounded upon.
Joy is ever perceived indirectly — and after the fact that joy has put its coat on and sullied out the door. Although the memory of joy and the anticipation of joy are tasting, they are not the same as the unsummoned, though often invited, Joy which is. It is not simply an excited state of synapses firing and recognizing pleasure, though it certainly leaves physical traces. And yet Joy is not a thing to be pursued of its own right.
I was and am still enchanted, for I have no better word and so long as I have joy in some measure I expect no better — if ever perfectly dissected, Joy itself vanishes, for this was a foolish misuse — by the hunt for the Great White Stag in LWW. I cannot make you feel for it as I do; if you do already my words will not stir this fire to frenzy. Should these Kings and Queens catch this creature, what on earth shall they do with it? Surely such a thing is beautiful for the sake of the chase, but not in the catching. A clear reason for their pursuit evades us, as we ride alongside at the height of play and romp possible in a full-hearted pursuit. Joy, if caught, will disappear into the dark shadows of memory and yet pursuing is a fairer course. It is much as though the students are chased back through the wardrobe, though in the kindest manner possible — where previously they were chased into it.
The manner of chase greatly differs, and yet, once on the other side, they are not to pursue Narnia for its own sake — their way back shall be provided when the time is right. Lewis’ endless search for Joy reveals itself to be a chase whereby he is to find that joy itself is but an icon — and yet icons are fruitful and the King of Joy pursues (against an Aristotelian, self-interested God) where we sense him uninterested in our Joy. Very much the opposite — he would turn our taste to the true (not merely the logically valid and rationally supported) — to the living truth. For this communicates to us, though I find it impossible to communicate to another. And so it must be whispered, for in whispers Joy is acclaimed loudly — in silence His reflection gleams.