Happiness as Anarchy #220: New poetry

Here’s a little poem from Eleanor Lerman, a new discovery sent my way by a gorgeous friend. It made me smile and I hope it does the same for you.


This is what life does. It lets you walk up to 
the store to buy breakfast and the paper, on a 
stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have 
your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman 
down beside you at the counter who say, Last night, 
the channel was full of starfish. And you wonder,
is this a message, finally, or just another day?

Life lets you take the dog for a walk down to the
pond, where whole generations of biological 
processes are boiling beneath the mud. Reeds
speak to you of the natural world: they whisper,
they sing. And herons pass by. Are you old 
enough to appreciate the moment? Too old?
There is movement beneath the water, but it 
may be nothing. There may be nothing going on.

And then life suggests that you remember the 
years you ran around, the years you developed
a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon,
owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are
genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have
become. And then life lets you go home to think
about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time.

Later, you wake up beside your old love, the one
who never had any conditions, the one who waited
you out. This is life’s way of letting you know that
you are lucky. (It won’t give you smart or brave,
so you’ll have to settle for lucky.) Because you 
were born at a good time. Because you were able 
to listen when people spoke to you. Because you
stopped when you should have and started again.

So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your
late night dessert. (Pie for the dog, as well.) And 
then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland, 
while outside, the starfish drift through the channel, 
with smiles on their starry faces as they head
out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.

From Our Post Soviet History Unfolds by Eleanor Lerman, published by Sarabande Books. Copyright © 2005 by Eleanor Lerman. 

Happiness as Anarchy #218: Fitting things in

There is most definitely a pleasure in defying apparent space constraints. This morning I managed to fit all of my wine in the bottom of the pantry (yes, it is large). When it was all out on the kitchen floor it looked like an impossible task, but lo and behold, all those hours of playing lego as a kid and with my kids seems to have paid off. Just don’t ask me to fetch anything out of the back corner!

Happiness as Anarchy #216: Happy chickens

I pulled another giant broccoli plant from the veggie patch and launched it into the chicken yard this afternoon. There’s not a lot of green left in their domain and so I guess it’s not surprising that the chickens were happy to get a big plant, but it’s remarkable how enthusiastically they gobble up the leaves of brassicas, tails in the air and making happy chicken noises all the while.

Happiness as Anarchy #214: Photo Fun

It’s a week for setting up gear that I’ve had for ages. On the weekend I played with my new digital mixer and worked out how to record my piano. I’m going to have lots of fun with that over the next couple of weeks. Following on from that, I set up some of my studio lighting and played with my camera and my piano. There’s a risk that I may never emerge from my studio again.

Happiness as Anarchy #213: Classic Movie Dance

All those Christmas carols at the this time of year can poison your soul, like carefully administered arsenic. Lucky there are classic movies with wonderful dance scenes to make everything right again. This one is from Singing in the Rain with Donald O’Connor, Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. The film was released in 1952, but this song was originally written for the 1939 film Babes in Arms.