I keep a 500 folder that collects the 500+ word pieces I write every day. Julia Cameron wrote about “Morning Pages” in her book The Artist’s Way. I first started my 500s in 2003. Then I did them again in 2006. I only kept up a little bit in 2007. But I started back up with them seriously in 2009.

Here is one from 2009:

Americans are blessed by seven holy words written by Thomas Jefferson. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is one of the most famous phrases in the United States Declaration of Independence. These three aspects are listed among the “inalienable rights” of man.

Wikipedia says Jefferson based this famous phrase on the writings of English writer John Locke, who expressed that “no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.”
Yet all of humanity has certain rights we take very much for granted.

The other day I noticed my father complaining about all he couldn’t find at the local farmer’s market. They didn’t have five items he wanted. I asked him what he was able to get on his Sunday morning trip. He named off at least ten other items he did buy and bring home. Since we like to pontificate to each other, I got on my soapbox about being satisfied with what we have instead of always criticizing what we don’t have.

Hours later my lover arrived. As we dispensed with formalities and were able to get immediately skin-to-skin I found my mind distraught by the noise my neighbor was making out in the hot August afternoon sun. Instead of reveling in the sensations and emotions that are so healing to my body mind spirit, I found my brain quite consciously obsessed with the noise level, irritation, and interruption caused by the obnoxious man next door I’d had bitter words with at 8AM when he was blasting cartoons for he and his cats.

It dawned on me that I was complaining instead of embracing, that my negativity was overshadowing my blessing of the moment.

I call this part of me persnickety. I find her painful and repetitive and constant. It seems she is forever finding fault with something in my environment.

Later I heard my boyfriend complaining about his brother for not doing something even though the same brother was constantly doing something for him.

Later in the evening, while contemplating this part of my life, I came across a license plate that for me was a message from my dead brother. 6EIE393. He died on June 3rd, 1993. I said, “Ok Steve, what can you say to me?” It’s as if I heard his voice again immediately respond with these words: “Everything is ecstasy.”

I am alive. He is not. I can breathe. He cannot. I can make love in the afternoon. He cannot. I can buy and eat food. He cannot. I have a sibling I can call on the phone. He can’t call us. I have choice. He does not. I even have a right and an ability to complain. He doesn’t.

Perhaps that is reason enough to be blessed even in the moments during which I’m frustrated by either the lack of something or the overindulgence of something else. If, as I attempt to live my moments of freely chosen happiness, I remember that I am alive, I am life itself, that all the noises, inconveniences, and disappointments are proof that I am alive, then indeed everything can be ecstatic.