Happiness: The Serotonin Shot Anecdote

An old man sits on the front porch of an old, weary house. As the people pass by, he tries to subdue his loneliness with memories of his past, reading newspapers and rereading old news again and again.

All of a sudden, and every so often, a noise or movement shakes this state of delusion, and he sees himself, old and wrinkled, desolate and waiting for a calm destruction. The memories come back as he wonders how truly, the happiness has gone from his life.

A relation perhaps visits the man every week or so, to check on his health, or rather put bluntly, the persistence of his now lowly existence. The man speaks of loneliness, of impending death, and of now bitter-sweet memories, going on and on, up and down the timeline of life, finishing in exhaustion, pleading and gesturing helplessly for an escape.

With the persistence of a man who has lost all, and has not more to hope for than a grain of happiness, his few distant relations decide to fulfill his pleadings.

Thus on a bleak autumn night, when the winds blew heavier, and the rain fell thicker than it would most days of October, the old man, fallen asleep by a windowpane, is rushed awake, yet calmly, by his distant relative.

He’d come with the cure; in his right hand clasping, measured precisely, a shot of Serotonin, the happiness hormone.

Without restraint and expecting approval, the younger, middle-aged, man rolls the elder’s sleeve, feels around his frail forearm for a vein, sets the needle in, firmly, the old man holding his breath, a tear going down his pale face. Pressing down, the shot is injected, and suddenly, no magically, the tear dried and the breath exhaled, his eyes fix for a moment, his pupils dilate, and in an abrupt twitch, the old man bursts into a loud laughter.

His happiness was restored.

“What have I become, my sweetest friend? Everyone I know, goes away in the end.” -Johnny Cash

Photo credit: PhotoAtelier / Foter / CC BY

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Real World: Dreamworld

I sometimes like to imagine my entire life is a dream.
I think it gives me a sense of security, that somehow, deep down, I can control my world, except that I simply don’t know how.

I think it keeps me at bay from the more likely, more frightening reality of a world that’s completely out of control, out of mind, careless to throw me at the rocks as the waves that rush to a rocky shore, with time the harsh waters, and fate the fickle winds that blow upon them.

On that thought though, if my life really were a dream, I think I’d diagnose my subconscious with quite a masochistic tendency.

(P.S.: Please don’t interpret that last line too literally haha)

Photo credit: InAweofGod’sCreation / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Djelloul Marbrook: The Body Language of Poetry

Stunning insights on the art of poetic delivery.

Vox Populi

Don’t gesticulate with your hands or make faces when speaking, the teachers at my British boarding school told me. It’s vulgar. I’m sure that this enjoinder at such an impressionable age imbued my poems with reticence and austerity.

But poetry has a body language. The poet’s way of breathing supplies oxygen to the body and to the poem. The poet’s way of walking and talking is inherent in the poem. I knew a poet who walked like the prow of a ship cutting through waves, the bone in its teeth, as sailors say, and that how her poems walked and talked.

The body language of a poem is also shaped by the script used in its writing. If it was first written by hand the poet’s hand, the stops and starts, the way I’s are dotted and t’s crossed, lives in the poem. If the poem was first typed, the…

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