Morsels of Happiness

On my morning walk today I saw six black cockatoos in a tree quite close up.  I didn’t have a camera so you’ll have to take my word for it.  I watched them for about five minutes and do you know, seeing them made me happy.

Can a day be without any happy moments?  Even in these anxious times there are gentle interludes: – look at that cloud formation;  the neighbour’s cat has popped over to be stroked; outside our local cafe Rupert the dog is waiting for his pat;  wow – a cormorant is spreading its wings in front of a rainbow!

Happy moments spontaneously pop up.

I find that if I mentally register these morsels of happiness, they nourish me throughout the day.  Later on I see the news and feel all the things that you are feeling.  But it helps to remember those sweet tastes of positivity.  I remind myself that even if I’m feeling anxiety now, I felt joy earlier – and that helps me not to be overwhelmed.

When I experience a moment of peace, something that provokes a smile, registering it might be the most important thing I do all day.  It is an inoculation against misery.

Two mornings ago I took myself down to the waterfront to visit the birds.  Their presence uplifted me.

What lifts your spirits?



26 thoughts on “Morsels of Happiness

  1. Lisa Ann Watkins

    YOU just lifted my spirits! Having a tough day today behind the scenes but you’ve reminded me to look for those happy morsels and to smile when I see them. Thank you my wonderful friend L x

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hello Lisa, behind the scenes (and even in front and to the sides) the world population of humans is having a tough time right now. It takes an effort to go against the sad tide but we must do it if we are to remain sane. Our daily task is to recognise the small gems.

  2. Nick Shiroma

    Thank you Julie, I don’t know how this relates, but I read that Picasso said that Art is a lie that reveals the truth. I think of artists like you who create masterful beauty that reveals the true exquisite strength of the spirit. Where does it come from? It comes from seeing and feeling and not just looking at nature.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi on Wednesday, Nick. I don’t know that I’d agree with Pablo about Art being a lie in any sense. I’m sure he is persuasive but I might have to be in the room with him to understand where he’s coming from. And then I’d probably be too intimidated to listen properly. He’d win the argument and I’d go home, cross, thinking (in hindsight) of clever replies.

  3. lauraslittlecorner

    To draw, dear Julie, uplifts me. 🙂 I need to draw, not only my comic with my computer, which is my main task, but to draw wth coloured pencils. I need it so much. Thank you for the post and for the photos. 🙂

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Laura! My friend in Italy – how are you? Yesterday when I walked in my neighbourhood, a coffee shop was flying a big Italian flag outside. As it was windy, the flag was waving proudly. We are thinking of your country very much. There is so much world-wide love for Italy – which I partake in. Please may your situation ease soon. And let me know how you personally are coping…

      1. lauraslittlecorner

        Hi, Julie! Thank you so much. March 17 was Italy united anniversary, I guess our flag was for that. So kind from the coffee shop. Here we are in a suspended mode yet since February 23, unfortunately Lombardia region wasn’t completely locked down before: were it done so, maybe this would have avoided so many casualties… we are working from home, where possible, go for grocery shopping only, a few at time and distant almost 1 meter each other. Impossible to find facial masks. Here in Ascoli we had no infection until, few days ago, two civil servants went on a sky trip to Lombardia region when it was already red zone (locked down), got infected, came back home, met persons, yet a birthday party with over 50 persons, and, doing so, infected many, as they are civil servants in public offices with no care for symptoms and quarantine as they come back from Northern Italy. These people are killers.
        And many people escaped from Northern Italy to centre and southern so they infected other people despite the bans. They don’t do quarantine. Now Europe borders are locked down, except for goods. Me… ballet classes are suspended, so I draw. I literally need to draw, because it helps me to balance my mind. I draw a lot, part on graphic tablet (the comic, hard job!), part on paper, I bought online from Poggi, in Rome, new coloured pencils in special offer to test them, they are creamy, soft, so I’d like to bought the whole set… but I need to wait, because I can buy it from UK only at a reasonable price and I am not sure if they take safety measures. Plus, I finally bought Neocolor 2, a small pack (40), because I was so curious about your posts and I wanted to test them, as I had other brand, harder, and the Neocolor are soft, buttery, they go smooth. To be honest, I was a little scared about parcels, so I used gloves, I sanitised everything. But now I have these new colours to try and an old drawing to complete (this with Caran d’Ache, both Pablo and Luminance, according if I am in the roof or in the basement studio. So, here is how I’m coping with this. Ah, and I cook, read. Usually I do jogging, ground barre and a sort of pilates. At home. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words, dear Julie. And for your posts in the blog. I love them.

      2. juliepodstolski Post author

        Hello Laura, I have read your words several times over. I particularly noted what you told me about your father. I have edited that part out of the post because I don’t want your privacy to be compromised. (All the comments are public, you see). I have taken your words on this family subject to heart – and I am very sorry about the situation.
        Very often I look at ‘live web cam’ views of Venice. The scenes look so very beautiful with only a handful of people walking around in the spring sunshine. It looks like perfection. Of course, one cannot see suffering or illness or unemployment on a live web cam.
        Here in Australia the situation changes rapidly. We are still allowed to go outside but more and more businesses close their doors each day, and businesses that stay open are getting very few customers. At the moment we have sunshine. It is still early autumn and we still have some liberation. When winter approaches and there are more cases of the virus, then I think we will really feel it. However already an enormous number of people have lost their jobs.
        I am shielding myself from news items on radio and television. Perhaps I only listen to one item per day so that I am informed, but I do not want to be drowned in terrible news stories from morning until evening. Like you, I draw. I go for walks, I write letters. I am trying to accept the situation without fighting it or wishing it away.
        When I go for a walk now I make more-than-usual effort to smile and say hello to passing pedestrians. It occurs to me that a smile and a hello might be all the human contact some people are getting at the moment.
        I am glad you have your Neocolors to experiment with. A big hug from me to you! xx Julie

  4. anna warren portfolio

    The small moments of the day are often the best ones, it is so important to lift our heads, slow down and enjoy those little magical snippets. Near me is a small waterfall, just where a stormwater drain empties into a creek in a little park. Yesterday I went for a walk, feeling overwhelmed and when I stopped by the waterfall, watching the constant chattering stream of water, my sprits lifted. Looking up, there is always something good. One of the good things I feel will come from this time is the learning to enjoy slowing down, appreciating the small, unchanging things of life. Thanks Julie, a lovely optimistic post!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Oh I know what you mean about water. I was standing on a sand-spit to photograph the pelicans at Point Walter. The tide was high. For a few minutes I shut my eyes and simply listened to the lapping of the water all around me. That’s something I liked to do in Venice as well – simply listen to that lapping sound.

      I’m ALWAYS slow (since I have worked at home for years). I’m not a person who says how busy I am. (In fact I sometimes think I should be busier.) So I’ve long been a practitioner of what you mention – appreciating the small unchanging things of life.

      I’m so glad that your spirits lifted when you went out yesterday. Your little park is a resource for sure.

      1. juliepodstolski Post author

        I’m swinging rather, Anna. Sometimes I feel “I’ve got this” and other times I become overwhelmed. I expect we are all swinging as we grapple with the ever-changing (and worsening) situation.

      2. anna warren portfolio

        Me too -today I feel good, the sun is shining. And I saw that the canals in Venice are running clear, you can even see the fish in them! No visitors is a big plus for the environment.

      3. juliepodstolski Post author

        In view of the environment cleaning itself up during this break in traffic and industry, remember Paul Keating saying it was the recession we had to have? Perhaps this is the pandemic we had to have.



    Thanks for sharing the love of your birds, I can’t get to the beach to see the birds, not from the Phoenix area of Arizona. Thank you so much for sharing, they make me happy too!!!! Of course I also love to see the paintings done with CP’s that you do, featuring the birds, or anything that you do, is always lovely!

    ‘Share the Joy,’ Hugs, Joanne


  6. Julie Lorraine Silvester

    Would have to say birds as well! Love watching the maggies and the willy wagtails have baths in our birdbath!! x

  7. Robyn Varpins

    what a wonderful vaccine, thank you for your wisdom. Not only do birds represent joy and spirit, but they can be quirky and goofy too. Which also makes me smile.

  8. Nick Shiroma

    That was a great and funny (true) response about Picasso. It gave me a smile as I worry for people in Italy and Spain and every where. I’ll think of the bright lights in your drawings and how they illuminate the scenes. Here in the USA is like being in a science fiction movie.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hey Nick, the science fiction movie is playing world-wide. I wish it wasn’t. We’re all doing the best we can to live with the new normal. Take care my friend!


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