3.14.2010

Sibling Assignment #124: Happiness: Capturing Ordinary Moments on Film



I am continuing with the Happiness theme with Sibling Assignment #124 this week. I will link my siblings' posts soon. I finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin last night. Her book inspired me to once again examine happiness this week with this post. Here is the assignment:
Read "Happiness" by Jane Kenyon and share your thoughts about where happiness comes from for you in a poem, essay, or reflection. Due Sunday, March 14th. You can find Happiness by Jane Kenyon here.

This poem has always resonated with me. I don't know exactly when she put the words to paper. It was published after her battle with cancer and her death. She reminded me that is isn't necessary to save your finest garment for a special occasion. Keeping the fine china in the cupboard for a holiday is unnecessary. Make the occasion breakfast today. Rubin calls this " spending out" in her book. How many times have you heard somebody say "I am saving it for a special occasion"? Thursday chicken dinner was when we decided to sample the gourmet sauce that was given to us at Christmas. Happiness creeps into the room and sits on your shoulder when you eat meatloaf off of fine china. Taking the afghan that my grandmother crocheted and placing in on the chair made me smile much more than thinking about it in the hope chest. Sometimes now I actually burn scented candles!

 In the poem I am also drawn to the ordinary images of happiness. The woman with the birch broom, dog chewing on a sock, and the clerk stacking cans of carrots. My not-so-fancy Canon point and shoot digital camera has given me a means of capturing those moments in my life. It made me open my eyes and notice. The morning walks in the garden began with a desire to practice with my camera. Our ten-mile road trips started as a way to explore new places in "our own backyard" and capture the images on film. When JEJ came in to announce the first crocus was in bloom yesterday he knew I would want to snap a picture. I found happiness in that picture. When I caught a series of silly shots of Isabelle our cat on the dryer that made me happy. Seeing the first buds on the rose bushes makes me smile. Seeing them on my computer screen later larger than life filled me with happiness. These are simple pleasures that work for me.

I feel happiness thumbing through my photos and remembering the day I stacked the clay pots in the greenhouse, put the Rolling Rock beer bottle on the roof of the truck, or put a small bouquet of spring flowers in JEJ"s hands so he could "pose" for me. I can remember the exact moment my mom put on my "Russian Woman" hat while talking on the phone at Christmas. I have a picture as an added memory.

I gave my mom a digital photo frame for Christmas. One of the happiest days I spent in December was clicking through albums of pictures choosing the best ones for her first collection. I sat later in the chair in her living room and enjoyed the vivid colors of a summer bouquet, Kit hanging upside down in the tree, and a weathered picnic table at Lake Chelan. I was filled with happiness. I was difficult to choose a series of images for this post today, but here is a start. Trying looking around today and noticing small things that make you smile. Keep the image in your memory. Fill your heart with happiness.
Pumpkins at Yoke's in Kellogg.
 
winter sunset
 
JEJ's footprints on the trail
 
Grandma's afghan enjoyed by Isabelle.
 
Mom searching in the frig for something!
 lilac and blue

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