He writes about his father's illness, which is also about the joy of family and how death can bring us closer, and about having asthma as a kid (not fun) but how his body is also a source of joy (very fun). In an essay about losing his phone, Gay has to get to the airport in his rental car without GPS--horrors!--and must stop multiple times to ask for directions, which gives him the opportunity to connect with a lot of interesting folks. His essay about playing football in college and coming to hate it, becomes a meditation on masculinity and the brutally competitive aspect of team sports. But sports--such as Gay's beloved freewheeling basketball pick-up games--are also beautiful and meaningful. A piece on skateboarding becomes a celebration of the joys of transgressing together with friends. There are essays on the responses Gay receives as a Black man talking about joy (shouldn't he be focusing on fixing what's wrong?), the rewards of teaching and, of course, always, the natural world, which for Gay is a never ending source of joy.
This brilliant collection of essays reminds us that we are all connected, to each other and to the world at large.