my heart is like dawn

So far in the new year, I have been able to take advantage of the little bit of break before I begin teaching online on Monday. Working on the class itself has me excited, which feels good like stretching a muscle I haven't used in a while. This week we had our friend, Brianne's, children staying with us for a few days. We shopped and jumped and threw glitter and played games and listened to music and told stories. It was glorious fun. Yesterday, on my way home from taking M to work the sky turned the color of fire and all the clouds seemed to glow like they'd been photoshopped. I snapped a few pictures as the sky continously changed as the sun set. And I kept thinking, this is amazing, this simple drive home embodies so much. How do I write this happiness? How do I say thank you? 

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I found this poem by Edward Hirsch that explores the notion that Happiness is an elusive topic in writing and rarely "shows up on the page," or so French novelist, Henry de Montherlant, thought. According to Hirsch, "he coined the maxim, ‘Happiness writes white,’ which suggests that happiness is a blank that can’t be described." Hirsch has a different take on the subject.

Happiness Writes White

by Edward Hirsch from Special Orders

I am a piece of chalk
scrawling words on an empty blackboard.

I am a banner of smoke
that crosses the blue air and doesn’t dissolve.

I don’t believe that only sorrow
and misery can be written.

Happiness, too, can be precise:

Doctor, there’s a keen throbbing
on the left side of my chest
where my ribs are wrenched by joy.

Wings flutter in my shoulders
and blood courses through my body
like waves cresting on a choppy sea.

Look: the eyes blur with tears
and the tears clear.

My head is like skylight.
My heart is like dawn.