Happy.

Happy. Content. Peaceful.

In recent days, the question of what makes me happy has come up in two different places.

On Thursday, Mary Campbell, at Writer’s Butt Does Not Apply to Me, passed on the Happy 101 blog award to me, because (and I am not making this up) “[Christi] always has something sweet to say.” I like Mary (and her blog), and I wonder if Mary might write a letter of confidence for me and mail it to my husband the next time my sweet turns to sour.

But, seriously, I believe in Karma, and the Golden Rule. My mother always told me what goes around comes around. And, as I approach the start date for a novel workshop, and imagine the thought of eleven other writers cutting loose with feedback, I hope all that good Karma and those sugar-sweet words will carry me through critiques.

On Friday, my friend Dot Hearn, at The Writing Vein, posted her second Razor’s Edge writing prompt, which centered around Happiness. Dot addresses the theme in three different ways: a written prompt, a photo, and a song by Joanna Newsom. I was entranced by the song and video. The music even stopped my three-year old dead in her tracks.

“What’s that lady singing?” she asked.

I couldn’t answer. I was too busy listening and floating and falling in love with the harp.

[You'll have to click over to Dot's post to watch it. It's lovely. Really.]

Both Mary and Dot posed the same question: what makes me happy?

As Dot points out, happiness runs deeper than that giddy, maniacal feeling I get when I stay up way past my bed time and suddenly everything is funny.

Although I admit, that kind of guttural laughter from me – and especially from my kids – will cancel out a bad day in a second, my concept of true happiness is defined by contentment and an understanding that if I am comfortable in my own skin, I am happy.

I treasure those moments when happiness runs deep, grips me just below my chest, and imparts a sensation that no matter what surrounds me, good or bad, I am here. In this moment. Alive. And, I am not alone.

That kind of happiness materializes in connections I make with those around me: my family, my friends, sometimes even strangers. In the absence of words, a glance, a smile and a nod, or a hand in mine touches my core and fills me up.

***

Eye to eye, we connect.
Our backgrounds are a blur.
Our mouths are quiet,
But our minds convey:
I see you.
I know you.
I understand.

***

happy. content. peaceful.

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10 responses to “Happy.

  1. Thankyou, Christi. I love your poem! And I’m glad you like the song. I like her work and I love that video, too.

    Like you, happy and happiness have been popping up all around me as concepts to explore and topics in the air.

    Your clarification is wonderful too.

  2. Dot, Because of your prompt on Friday and your comment above, I hereby bestow upon You the Happiness 101 Award.

    I’d love to see what comes of your own explorations of happy and happiness.

    What makes you happy, Ms. Dot Hearn? :)

  3. Great post and poem. My husband sees my sweet turn to sour a little too often as well. Poor guy.

  4. JB and I are going to see Ms. Newsom at the Pabst in March… maybe you should join us! And it is true, you are a sweet one :)

  5. Love the poem! Now a rhetorical question (maybe): How do we connect online? Through the mysterious alchemy of words, is my stab at a guess at the answer.

    How great that you’re taking a novel workshop course to support your revision process! I look forward to reading more about your progress.

    • I have learned so much from reading other writers’ blogs. When other writers share their experiences with the writing process, the publishing process, or the craft in general, I grab onto any sparks of similarity. We exchange comments in a post. We connect.

      I stick with the writers who have a lot of information to share, are willing to share it, and offer as much, if not more, support and encouragement.

  6. I’ve learned a lot and get different feedback and types of support from the writers I’ve “met” and keep in touch with – most of them only online in one virtual space or another – who are at different stages of their careers. I’ve been lucky enough to correspond with a few established writers who are generous about sharing their experiences and wisdom with novice writers (surely I’m not the only one so blessed), and I enjoy reading the blog postings and early published pieces of some of the emerging writers I’ve met in a couple of writing courses (like you). I look forward to reading more from all the writers I “know” and others whose work(s) I connect to, and following and rejoicing in their successes with them.

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