a touch of cheer if you need it for the new year

Sometimes, we need the new year, even though the night of the 31st is devoid of the dynamic meaning of Asian new years. But as I was saying, it still signifies the new coming in to usher out the old, which can be necessary encouragement. If this holiday time is becoming challenging, may we remember Jacques Prévert's thought: Même si le bonheur t'oublie un peu, ne l'oublie jamais tout à fait: Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it
Prévert wrote about all of man's changing humors, and was particularly fond of various forms of love. What I like about some of these poems is the meditative attention he gives to the things around him - which somehow reminds me of the cancer patient treatment Bill Moyers wrote of in Healing and the Mind. Patients were able to get their mind off the pain and suffering through exercises like eating a raisin as slowly as possible, and becoming mindful of the taste and texture. Sometimes, we are called to exercise our attention, and shift it away from ourselves if our thoughts become too tempestuous. Let us pause and consider the poem Alicante: 
Une orange sur la table
Ta robe sur le tapis
Et toi dans mon lit
Doux présent du présent
Fraîcheur de la nuit
Chaleur de ma vie.
An orange on the table/ your dress on the rug/ and you on my bed/ sweet present of the present/ cool of the night/ warmth of my life. 
Another poem I like for the same reason, but also because of the sound of the poem is Rappelle-toi Barbara (Remember Barbara), with that line: Ruisselante ravie épanouie - which describes both Barbara and Barbara in the rain...
I have always taken solace in art, and while I do think that art is a pale second to nature (yes, that ancient argument about mimesis), I am always amazed at the depth and sheer number of all extant works of art in the world. It is like the sea, which caused St. Chrysostom to feel both awe and fear at its immensity - and let us think, too, for a moment, about all the varied sea life: squid with a stronger bite than a lion's and that flash red and blue; tiger sharks; and all that sea life that has never been seen before, because it is too far down in the pitch darkness of the depth of seawater.
Maybe all of that darkness is all of our sadness lumped together in a place lit up only by the light emitted by certain fish. But even there, there is light. Let us not forget happiness, and it will come to us.
Happy new year to us all.

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