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First Sip

Inspiration for happiness, love and peace

Happiness

Monday, December 5, 2016

There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basket maker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.

It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.

~ Jane Kenyon

Present Moment

Friday, December 2, 2016

The present moment is filled
with joy and happiness.
If you are attentive,
you will see it.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

The Sky

Thursday, December 1, 2016

I like it with nothing. Is it
what I was? What I will be?
I look out there by the hour,
so clear, so sure. I could
smile, or frown—still nothing.
Be my father, be my mother,
great sleep of blue; reach
far within me; open doors,
find whatever is hiding; invite it
for many clear days in the sun.

When I turn away I know
you are there. We won’t forget
each other: every look is a promise.
Others can’t tell what you say
when it’s the blue voice, when
you come to the window and look for me.

Your word arches over
the roof all day. I know it
within my bowed head where
the other sky listens.
You will bring me
everything when the time comes.

~ William Stafford

To Have Without Holding

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked, the wind
roaring and whimpering in the rooms
rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm.

It hurts to love wide open
stretching the muscles that feel
as if they are made of wet plaster,
then of blunt knives, then
of sharp knives.

It hurts to thwart the reflexes
of grab, of clutch; to love and let
go again and again. It pesters to remember
the lover who is not in the bed,
to hold back what is owed to the work
that gutters like a candle in a cave
without air, to love consciously,
conscientiously, concretely, constructively.

I can't do it, you say it's killing
me, but you thrive, you glow
on the street like a neon raspberry,
You float and sail, a helium balloon
bright bachelor's button blue and bobbing
on the cold and hot winds of our breath,
as we make and unmake in passionate
diastole and systole the rhythm
of our unbound bonding, to have
and not to hold, to love
with minimized malice, hunger
and anger moment by moment balanced.

~ Marge Piercy

Abundance

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The quality of our lives depends heavily on whether we assume a world of scarcity or a world of abundance. By embracing the scarcity assumption, we create the very scarcities we fear. We create scarcity by competing with others for resources as if we were stranded on the Sahara at the last oasis.

In the human world, abundance does not happen automatically It is created when we have the sense to choose community, to come together to celebrate and share our common story. Whether the “scarce resource” is money or love or power or words, the true law of life is that we generate more of whatever seems scarce by trusting its supply and passing it around.

~ Parker Palmer