The smiles come from the inside. I hear people remind me to SMILE and when I hear them, a slight smile usually floats up and turns up the corners of my lips – and, for a moment, I do feel happier. When I call my Hawaiian friend, Ray, and at the end of his voice message, I hear him say, smile, I always feel better. I hear people say, when you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours, so where do all these smiles live and how does one get to the place where that cheery countenance is easily brought on?
What am I doing when the smiles come? When they just appear on my face without being forced or reminded? Peaceful smiles come at the water’s edge, when I can hear the water rushing by or sliding in on the sand, rippling at my feet. Perhaps the trick is to smile first and then seek an emotion within or a stimulus without that will keep it there – or remind it to come more often. I used to be annoyed when people would say, SMILE, Carrie, but now, usually while I’m driving, I will feel my face and it’s not smiling. It’s tight and sometimes even scowling and I think, this feels terrible, I don’t like this feeling, and I smile and try and let go of whatever is keeping me gloomy or worried or far away. Sometimes my expression is just serious because I am deep in thought and searching for a word or a perfect line of dialogue, or most of the time I am thinking about something that DOESN’T make me happy – why do I do that? Programming, habit.
Letting go, being light, those are things I am learning to do. Letting my body float in warm blue water, letting my mind reject anything ugly or negative and turn on the magnet that attracts all the good, the smiles and the brightness and the beautiful out there in the world – and inside me. Inside, there is a place and the canvass looks like this:
There are acres of grass blowing in a soft wind and there is a journal and a pen and there is a clock that allows me all the time in the world to fill that journal with all the thoughts and stories I’ve held onto for my whole life, and when that journal is full, another will appear and it, too, will be filled – there are no restrictions, not time or money or physical pain. There is only a warm soft wind and grasses blowing and ink flowing out – and far out, on the horizon, there is a blue ocean twinkling in the sun and I am at peace.