So Much Happiness
Naomi Shihab Nye, 1952
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 share it,
and in that way, be known.
From Asha Deliverance, Taliesin’s mom.
︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶
Like so many people I was in one measure shocked by what happened and in the other awed by Taliesin‘s selfless act of love and courage to do the right thing in a horrible situation. I spent a little time online learning a bit about who Taliesin is and what he believed in and stood for. I then learned that he worked with my friends and colleagues at Cadmus. I want to share this song I wrote called “Night Birds,” as I believe Taliesin embodied the spirit of the song’s intention as much as anyone could. I have also made a donation through the fund set up to honor Taliesin at Reed College.Most importantly, I wanted to send my thoughts and support an Thank you for the spirit of love that you and your family embody.
“This song alludes to a story of a young couple who decide not to be together yet because the world is stuck in senseless violence, separation, and injustice. They decide to turn into night birds until humanity has had a consciousness transformation that eliminates war, hunger/poverty, and injustice. Of course, the song is as much a set of images and that’s just one possible interpretation. Ultimately, it’s about belief that a better world is possible and the comfort, love, and support that we provide to each other along the journey.”