Tuesday, June 3, 2014

i know this happiness is provisional

Of Being

By Denise Levertov

I know this happiness
is provisional:
the looming presences —
great suffering, great fear —
withdraw only
into peripheral vision:
but ineluctable this shimmering
of wind in the blue leaves:

this flood of stillness
widening the lake of sky:

this need to dance,
this need to kneel:
                             this mystery:

Maybe it's this time of year that fills me with anxiety. Huge bills coming in, the end of the school year for our daughter, an overwhelming to-do list, and all the upcoming expenses we know about and don't know about. Same as it is for everyone, I know. 

And then, here I am, taking a LWOP week....madness, right? Yes. 

A couple of nights ago, PBS was playing the documentary Happy by Roko Belic. I have to watch the whole thing soon, but the couple of segments we did catch were really good. And I was reminded of something that I know, that I've heard before, but which was timely: that happy people are good at being grateful for what they do have, rather than focussing on what they don't have. Which actually, was exactly what I'd been doing. In other words: count your blessings

I'm counting this week as a blessing. I'm counting all the blossoms as blessings. The light, too.

It may only be provisional, this happiness, but how glorious when it arrives: this mystery:


  1. Thank you Shawna. Such a wonderfully true poem.

    I've found too, that a provisional kind of gratitude, often the best I can do, will bring me out of gloom. Maybe this also is a bit of mystery.


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