“If I’m going to write about happy,” I explained, “I want that writing to lift the reader to that place – a happy place.”
“Who’s happy?” Pooh asked sympathetically. “Where does happy live?”
“I don’t know – exactly,” I answered.
Pooh looked at me suspiciously.
“You don’t know happy?”
“Happy’s not a person. It’s a thing. It’s a place. It’s how you make me feel. Sometimes. Like when you listen to me – quietly.”
“It’s how the laughter and squeals of children make me feel,” I continued. “Johnny’s smile. Or the first glimpse of a rainbow.
A red, red cardinal chirping good morning to me. A flash of a firefly’s glow on a summer night. The roar of a Porsche at 6000 RPMs.”
“All that?” Pooh asked with surprise and wide-open eyes.
“All that and more,” I enthusiastically answered Pooh – and continued.
“Those first, cautious sips from a hot cup of perfectly brewed coffee – smooth, caramel and uplifting. That brings me to a happy place. Or the fragrant, citrus spray of a bit of orange peel squeezed gently, slowly under the nose.
A morsel of milk chocolate lightly seasoned with hand-harvested sea salt. Fresh bed sheets that were hung outside on a clothesline. These are just a few of my favorite things…
Or the gift of a friend. A lover. Or a stranger. The gift of themselves, their attention and their presence. Priceless!
“Oh! That’s a lot of things,” Pooh said with a heavy sigh. “How much will the postage cost?”
“I don’t know,” I replied as I tried to ignore the implications of Pooh’s question.
“How are you going to get all that stuff here, sorted and portioned? And, then, how are you going to get it all to all of them?”
“I don’t know,” I replied again – but I knew Pooh was right.
Then it came to me – a clever solution. A Joycean epiphany.
“I’ll send it all – all of it and every wonderful detail – in a suggestion,” I told Pooh with excitement.
“And I’ll seal it in a smile.”
Pooh looked at me with suspicion, again.
“That’s… That’s crazy!” blurted Pooh.
“Not as crazy as having a conversation with a stuffed bear…”
Pooh nodded agreement and laughed – in my imagination.
But the real Pooh was actually thinking of something else – a problem that I hadn’t considered.
“But what if they don’t want to go to a happy place?
What if they need to be in the place where they are? A sad place, a serious place or an angry place?”
Pooh had me stumped again.
“Sometimes, we need to be in other places,” Pooh explained.
“Because that’s how we understand and grow – different kinds of learning happen in different places.”
I nodded in silent agreement.
Now, what am I going to do? I wondered to myself.
“I suppose that as long as it’s just a suggestion,” Pooh conceded, “they can take it or leave it. Or better still, they can take it like a gift card; they can redeem it at their convenience; they can visit a happy place whenever they want/like.”
I let out a loud sigh of relief.
“You are a very clever bear,” I said.
“Isn’t that why you talked with me, today?” Pooh asked and grinned.
“To be honest, Pooh, Horton was busy…”
“Horton who?” Pooh asked.
“Horton and the who are two different things. But Horton – if you must know – was busy with a who,” I answered him and lit a cigarette.
“I see,” said a grumpy Pooh.
“Does Horton like and share all your FaceBook posts about Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, and your fan fiction?”
”No…” I answered.
“But, I’m not as important as Horton,” he added.
“But you are!” I assured him and laughed.
“I was teasing you. Of course, you are important to me, Pooh.”
“I don’t like that kind of teasing,” Pooh replied.
“I’m sorry, Pooh…”
“Don’t do it again,” he warned as he pushed the potato with my face painted on it – off the balcony rail.
About The Author
Stan Faryna is currently digging 100s of square feet of flower beds for lilies, yarrow, milkweed, and butterfly bushes in his service to Creation. The butterflies, fireflies and hummingbirds should be pleased come summer. Just returned to the US from a long stay in Europe, he’s available for consulting on online strategy, start ups and game development. He’s @faryna on Twitter. He blogs deep here.