So Much Happiness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Posting this at the very last second. This year, oh this year. What a heartbreak. I’ve never been so alive. Salamat, 2005. You’ve been nothing but stellar. It’s been a beautiful and painful year. I’ve never loved more, never written more, never loathed and embraced living more than any years of my life.

2003 was for searching for a stable foothold and maintaining my balance. It was depression and addiction to the idea of love. It was intrigue. It was running away from things and places and people and problems that I couldn’t face. It was false courage and crazy bravery.

2004 was for keeping house. It was in awe of love. It was romance. It was for developing deeper friendships and discovering new people. It was for testing my limits. It was about decision: staying or going, which is not actually a bad thing. Sometimes, no matter how good things are, when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. It was realization.

And here is 2005: it has been a year of strength and wanting. It has been about pain. It has breathed separation. It has been about choice. It was about choosing what matters, choosing to wait, choosing to let go, choosing to pursue. It has been about people and love. And ultimately, the self.

Para sa pag-ibig, ang una at huling paksa ng pagiging makata. For dreams.

So Much Happiness
Naomi Shihab Nye

For Michael

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.

This is from Words Under Words: Selected Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, published by Far Corner Books, 1995.

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