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The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

27 January 2010

What is best in life?

What is best in life? “To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women,” says Conan in the 1982 movie “Conan the Barbarian.”

We’re writers, not berserkers and thieves, so our answers are a little different. To finish a manuscript. To polish that manuscript until it shines. To sell that manuscript. To hold our published writing in our hands. To see our friends finish and polish and sell and hold their writing. To read our friends’ stories and books.

Writers' joys are often long to fruition and are not always under our control. Today I’d like to remind everyone of the small "bests" we can enjoy every day and that no one can take from us.

What is best in life? I answer: To hear the birds sing outside my window. To laugh at the silly antics of cats and dogs. To see the happiness of birds after their feeder is filled. To walk barefoot in the grass on a warm day.

To plant seeds. To smell a flower. To stroke a rose petal. To harvest vegetables. To drink a cold beer on a hot day. To eat satsumas in the fall and strawberries in the spring and chocolate in every season.

To go to Home Depot with my husband to get stuff. To touch his hand, his face, his hair. To laugh together. To laugh with my critique group. To read the funnies in the newspaper. To get an email or Facebook message from a friend.

To do a kindness. To receive a kindness. To see a kindness done.

To see fresh-fallen snow and hear the snow-silence and smell the ice and cold.

To strive for perfection. To sometimes achieve it. To sometimes fail and still be happy with myself.

To listen to music. To play music. To dance in bare feet with my friends.

To smell a new book. To write a sentence that dances. To find the perfect strong word to end a sentence or a paragraph or a chapter.

To walk the streets of New Orleans. To see the ancient, twisted live oaks and the flower-filled balconies. To come upon a camel or musician or a parade where you weren’t expecting one.

To walk under the sun.

What is best in life? It is everywhere around us.


Lana Gramlich said...

I agree. What is best in life? Life, itself. :) Oh...and Charles. Charles is also pretty good.

Liane Spicer said...

Well said. The line "these are a few of my favorite things" comes to mind.

Right now it's the sound of soft rain outside my window.

ninthmuse (roz m) said...

A moment of joy when you least expected one. Someone who shares your appreciation of silliness.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana is such a sweety! I love that quote from the Conan movie, which I believe is orignally from Genghis Khan, but I don't want to live in that world. I think every morning when I get up now about all the beautiful things around me to be thankful for. These are best in life. And Lana. Lana is pretty good too.

Shauna Roberts said...

LANA and CHARLES, I'm glad your "best" lists coincide.

LIANE, I too love the sound of rain . . . as long as I get to stay in the house and don't have to run errands in it!

ROZ, good additions!