Tuesday, August 26, 2014

if this isn't nice, what is?

i was at a birthday party this past weekend and was having a conversation with an acquaintance of mine. i don't really know what we were talking about but it revolved about being grateful for our lives - all of it - the good, the bad, and the ugly. she mentioned a phrase from a kurt vonnegut story that her husband would say when they were having a sweet family moment and it made me tear up. i'd been looking for something to sum up all of the moments i've been having lately and this seemed perfect...

"if this isn't nice, what is?" 

just a sentence to help pause and take stock of how terribly beautiful this human experience can be. i hope that i can incorporate this into my daily lexicon.

here is the full passage:

one of the things (uncle alex) found objectionable about human beings was that they so rarely noticed it when they were happy. he himself did his best to acknowledge it when times were sweet. we could be drinking lemonade in the shade of the apple tree in the summertime, and uncle alex would interrupt the conversation to say, "if this isn't nice, what is?" 

so i hope that you will do the same for the rest of your lives. when things are going sweetly and peacefully, please pause a moment, and then say out loud, "if this isn't nice, what is?"

- kurt vonnegut (by way of mylissa - thank you)

photos from a trip i just took to bainbridge island, i can't wait to share the photos!


  1. I ADORE this passage! What a brilliant question, it will be the one I ask myself, friends and family many times from now on. Thank you :)

  2. just wanted to say that i've been thinking about this often since you posted it. so perfect. thank you!

  3. So true- you write so beautifully about the things that matter! Being present to all the little gifts in life especially with little kids is life affirming. I have recently noticed when I am tired I try to control everything with disastrous consequences, so lately I am trying to make myself aware I am tired, drop the to do list and just enjoy the imperfectness of the day. I won't remember the mess and the piles of washing but I will remember a pudgy toddler's arms wrapped around me in the most lovingly fierce cuddle and the giggles and chatter of my two in the sandpit getting the wettest and dirtiest they possibly can get. If that isn't nice, what is?