Weekly Photo Challenge: Smile

This is my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Smile.

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[Intermezzo] No Concentration, or Why I’m as Happy as Clara Bow with a Beach Ball

The winter-encrusted inhabitants of this drafty house are agog at the most gladsome of all tidings: spring is here! It is here! It is here! Glorious. Insistent. Blustery. She’s a grand dame, is Spring. I should be writing. I could be cleaning. I would, I would…but it is 77 degrees outside! The day that a season elbows her way back into our lives is a cause for celebration, not concentration.

Clara Bow

I’m as happy as Clara Bow with a beach ball!

This is where I put words about how the contented chirping of birds, barking of dogs, and mewing of small children have all joined to create the newest soundtrack sensation. Ice cream trucks, green shoots of plants I am constitutionally unable to recognize but overjoyed to see, and motorcycle engines belong here, too. Tank tops, sandals, and Margaritas for the win!

The front porch boards are warm beneath my feet.

Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After

Once Upon a Time, little girls were told they needed fairy tales. The goal was to hear the words, “And they lived happily ever after. The End.” It’s a scary idea. It says so right there: the end. A closed book. Happiness trapped under glass like a dead fly. The problem is that, when you are working toward an official Happily Ever After, you miss the nuances of the journey through the Big Bad Forest, the meat and mead of life: laughter, tears, growth, absurdity, knowledge, companionship, heartbreak, fulfillment, frustration, accomplishment. Life is messy, irreverent. It brooks no happily ever after. Why should it? Life is its own complicated reward.

Write your own story, but write it honestly. Live your own life, without succumbing to complacent platitudes. Embrace your own beautifully cracked version of success and happiness. Mine calls for writing words the best way I can, in reading more than is healthy, in loving a complex, brilliant, imperfect man. It allows for dust in the corners of my house and budding laugh lines around my eyes. I love every second of this broken bliss. It’s a thousand times better than any sterile Happily Ever After.

This is in response to the Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After. “And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?