Where is this monologue from?
A yard sale she walked by, on a sunny afternoon, September day.
Saucers and toys, books and chairs, The hands of time, the slices of life.
Among them she found a doll, golden hair and princess dress,
vivid details, a work of art. She smiled and said to herself, I gotta have this.
She is a woman in her fifties, an artist, a poet. Is it strange that one who is in mid-ages collects dolls; or is it natural, that what catches our eyes, tells that which is lost and cherished.
“twenty dollars,” said the little girl sitting on the steps, the owner of the doll. She added with a smile, “I am gonna use this money to buy a hair straightener.”
The little girl looks eleven or twelve, happy and eager to enter the world, ready to grow up. And there she was, taking bills out of her wallet, to get her childhood back.
All the years between the little girl and the artist,
All the hopes and memories between here and there.
In that golden September sun, on those steps,
They exchanged a most mysterious thing,
Happiness is waking up on a new day, your money is not devalued overnight,
the raspberry pecan roll is still eighty-eight cents a piece,
you can still make your mortgage payment,
for a place you call home,
where you have the arms of loved ones to come back to.
Happiness is after a full day of research,
you feel hungry,
just as Mr. Jobs advised.
There is a place
where writers do not send their works abroad to seek publishing;
where the sight of police does not make you tremble;
where the rich do not have to worry about kidnapping;
the poor wont have their last bread taken away.
Happiness is when days go by as usual.
The boys and girls glued to their phones as usual,
the old folks talk about dentures as usual.
the Chinese restaurant is still called “Thailand Cafe”,
the ambulances rushing down the traffic as usual.
When the night comes down,
The street lamps light up.
If you are that kid who is thinking about quitting high school,
or the woman who is tired of your spouse;
if you are mad at the world,
or pained by the discomforts of going to the bathroom that comes with aging,
there is someone holding your hand,
listening to you.
Happiness is knowing the person you said “goodbye” to in the morning,
will come back in the evening,
Socks kicked under the chair,
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
At the end of a day of research, around 5:47pm or so, I am proud to report to Mr. Jobs that I usually feel VERY hungry and VERY foolish.
“If it’s under forty minutes of walk, just walk there; if less than an hour of biking, just bike there. Use your bodily functions. If there is a breathing machine, are you gonna have the machine breathe for you?” —-Said my dad, when I asked him about whether I should drive or take the bus.
Wu Wei is a fascinating concept in Taoism. It can be loosely translated as “doing, by doing nothing”, expressing that sometimes the best action is non-action. But of course one needs wisdom to tell when to apply this philosophy. If the situation at hand is cleaning the floor, then practicing wu wei may not get you the result that you want.