I was in Waterstones thinking about a friend who was a little bit blue before Christmas. Not badly, just a little bit. I wandered over to the poetry section to play lottery – you know, when you choose a book at random and a page at random to see if you get a message. This was the one I found. It has delighted, comforted and inspired me by turns since then. It’s an excerpt from Call Me by My True Names by modern Buddhist poet Thich Nhat Hanh, and it’s about… well, you work it out:
The Good News
They don’t publish
the good news.
The good news is published
We have a special edition every moment,
and we need you to read it.
The good news is that you are alive,
and the linden tree is still there,
standing firm in the harsh Winter.
The good news is that you have wonderful eyes
to touch the blue sky.
The good news is that your child is there before you,
and your arms are available:
hugging is possible.
They only print what is wrong.
Look at each of our special editions.
We always offer the things that are not wrong.
We want you to benefit from them
and help protect them.
The dandelion is there by the sidewalk,
smiling its wondrous smile,
singing the song of eternity.
Listen! You have ears that can hear it.
Bow your head.
Listen to it.
Leave behind the world of sorrow
and get free.
The latest good news
is that you can do it.
— Thich Nhat Hanh