Happy Lucky Idiot

If you have time to chatter

Read books

If you have time to read

Walk into mountain, desert and ocean

If you have time to walk

sing songs and dance

If you have time to dance

Sit quiety, you Happy Lucky Idiot


– Nanao Sakaki


This image of the Fajada Butte in Chaco Canyon was hastily taken with my iPhone even though I had a better camera with me. Because I was rushing. Because I was being a tad lazy. Because I was intent upon getting to the Star Party on time at the Welcome Center. Because I told myself, Eh, there aren’t any clouds and I’ll be back out here to take a serious pic when the stars come out. (Too funny…) Because it wasn’t as important as the other thing I was choosing to do at the time. Because you can’t have everything. Because choosing one thing means you’re missing something else. And as Paolo Coelho wrote, Every choice has its price.

I suppose you could say I’m being a bit hard on myself. I’m not. This is me paying attention to how the image I didn’t take unfolded in my life. And because I’m sitting quietly with it, I’m able to see how perfect it is. I made a choice to walk into Chaco Canyon. I gazed, if only for a short time at this astonishing view and chose to take my seat in an auditorium to learn about a mysterious star-gazing civilization. Instead of taking this picture more slowly, I sped up so I could learn and later gaze through a gigantic telescope.

Miracles – all of these!

And yet, when I shuffled through the shots on my iPhone once the camping trip was over, I felt a sense of loss when looking at this picture. Because I’m human. And because I’m a complete idiot.

I sometimes forget how happy I am. Maybe we all do.

The reason Nanao Sakaki recommends sitting quietly? He probably knows from direct experience with his own inner idiot.

Here’s an idea: 

Read back over Nanao’s poem and write your own personalized version. For example, mine would begin with whatever activity I’ve indulged myself in the past week (watching Outlander, maybe?), followed by taking pictures or writing. Eventually, I’d find myself writing about lying beneath the ripening fruit on the boughs of my magical apricot tree and taking Sir Whimsy Bacon for a walk in the park.

See where your pencil takes you. Discover how happy you really are, and how even being an idiot can be a path toward wonder. 



Photo Credits:  Fajada Butte by Susan J. Preston, Santa Fe, NM © 2019, all rights reserved
Technical: iPhone 6s


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