so much happiness

12Nov08

Unseasonable sunshine streaming through the window + residual election buzz + Anna’s singing in the house =  a good day for this poem + photo.  The poem arrived recently via a note from a friend in response to a previous post. (I first came across it in the loo! Strange but true: a friend’s brother had the text on the wall! Really, a great idea, if you ask me.) The image, Changing Weather, St. Louis, Misssouri, 2008 by Justin Visnesky, arrived via Flak Photo. 

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So Much Happiness by Naomi Shihab Nye

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
A wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
Something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
And disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
And now live over a quarry of noise and dust
Cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
It too could wake up filled with possibilities
Of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
And love even the floor which needs to be swept,
The soiled linens and scratched records….

Since there is no place large enough 
To contain so much happiness,
You shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
Into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
For the moon, but continues to hold it, and to share it,
And in that way, be known.

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2 Responses to “so much happiness”

  1. That was remarkable. Both the photograph and the poem are excellent. Thank you for making my day.


  1. 1 Personism » Blog Archive » So Much Happiness

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