Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Bliss the past two weeks has been coconut milk in my coffee. Coconut milk warmed beforehand on the stove with cinnamon.

Um, and that has what to do with writing?

Happiness. The happiness of stirring dark cinnamon into the white, white milk. Of pouring the milk into the coffee. Of taking first, second... and all those sips. Of gulls squawking outside as I drink and write. Right then I know that all's good. All's exactly how it's supposed to be.

My favorite poem, Coconut by Paul Hostovsky, heard on The Writers' Almanac with Garrison Keillor, is about the decision to look for happiness.

That's all we can do. What we ought to do. For me that's writing. Which also means slogging away at the business stuff necessary for a career.

So, as I try to get inside happiness, I'll drink my coffee with coconut milk and write and know that I'm on my way.

And you? How do you get inside happiness? 
Coconut, by Paul Hostovsky

Bear with me I
want to tell you
something about
it’s hard to get at
but the thing is
I wasn’t looking
I was looking
somewhere else
when my son found it
in the fruit section
and came running
holding it out
in his small hands
asking me what
it was and could we
keep it it only
cost 99 cents
hairy and brown
hard as a rock
and something swishing
around inside
and what on earth
and where on earth
and this was happiness
this little ball
of interest beating
inside his chest
this interestedness
beaming out
from his face pleading
and because I wasn’t
happy I said
to put it back
because I didn’t want it
because we didn’t need it
and because he was happy
he started to cry
right there in aisle
five so when we
got it home we
put it in the middle
of the kitchen table
and sat on either
side of it and began
to consider how
to get inside of it


  1. Great question! I try to surround myself with it so there's no escape.

  2. mmmm coconut, I use it a lot in my cakes, you know...
    I think you need love to get inside happiness ...

  3. Hmmm. Have never tried coconut milk with coffee but color me intrigued. I'll give it a try!

  4. Love the poem. And a question worth considering.

  5. I actually can't stand coconut milk so I can't really relate, sorry. :P

  6. First time visitor here. Love this post and the poem. I clicked over from Heather's blog. It's nice to meet you.

  7. I remember hearing that poem on the same program, and also loved it. Thanks for the reminder.
    Can't tell you how many moments I've had like that as a parent - totally missing the boat and lacking right priorities and true perspective. And it always makes me pause and think about my life, and what and where it is that I'm putting my value, and what kind of power I'm listening to in order to make intelligent decisions about my life and how I live it...... So many other pieces of me yet to be expressed: writing, drawing, clay-ing, creating.... With such infinite potential and happiness in my pockets, what am i waiting for??