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Happy Places

All in bloom

My Christmas cactus, in early December, all in bloom. I ended up not watering it enough so all the blooms died and the green parts shriveled up and turned purple. Luckily, my mother-in-law pointed out my oversight and the plant has since recovered beautifully. This morning I counted six tiny, pink buds on its arms. Six!

I’m really making an effort to focus on the happy places. Like the buds on my Christmas cactus or the sunflower pen Dopey made for my birthday. And I’ve found that the happy I pull from the happy places make the rest of the garbage go away. For the most part. I mean, garbage doesn’t ever go away and no matter what it always stinks, but still. Happy places. Flowers and family photos, amulets, even. I bought this little stone sculpture in Bolivia and I keep it on my desk at work. It’s Pachamama, Mother World. I don’t know why, but that heavy, roughly carved stone brings me great comfort. If things get really stressful, (and there’s a lot of reasons for things to be stressful right now) I’ll pick it up and cradle it in my hands. Let the weight of it pull me. Whisper her name, Pachamama. Rub her three faces with the pads of my thumbs and just breathe. For a minute. It soothes me.

I probably sound like I’m losing my mind. Happy places. HAPPY PLACES!

Christmas cactus

*What’s that in the lower right corner of the photo? Just my super cool display of a mummified mouse family.

**Is it possible to take a picture against glass without catching a reflection? Is it possible for someone to explain it to me without being all technical and confusing?


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  • I don’t think you’re crazy at all, and I totally know what you mean about happy places. I have a tiny stone in the coin-purse part of my wallet…I’ve had it for over a decade, so long now that I don’t even remember where it came from or exactly when I started carrying it around with me.  But I do.

  • ‘Cita

    Yes, the Happy Places often keep us afloat.  Hang on to them.  Love you.

  • Grendl

    Yes, get yourself a cheap polarizing filter or drap yourself and your background in black so you don’t show up as much.  I’ll carry a black jacket I can hold up as a curtain in museums.