A Happiness Strategy + Agnes Martin

We know a lot of people who work to be mindful of how precious their life is and savor each moment. And work it is, a practice, because it’s so easy to get caught up in bad moods, what we think is wrong, the stresses of each day. We stumbled on an interesting happiness practice unexpectedly while reading I Bought Andy Warhol.  Richard Polsky describes art dealer Jack Glen as “the most upbeat person I ever met”, and asked him how he stayed so positive. Said Glen:

“The way I see it, I’m 59 years old, which means, since the average male life span is 76, I have approximately 6,200 days left to live — doesn’t sound like much, right? Well, if you approach life on those terms, it sort of puts things into perspective. When a friend of mine broke my life down like that it really turned my head around and convinced me to enjoy every day.”

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin

Although we can’t know how long we will live, Glen’s simple technique has proven a good one (just multiply the years you think you’ve got by 365).

We tried it and…YIKES! No matter what number you come up with, it’s not that much.

Agnes Martin/Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Agnes Martin/Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Agnes Martin‘s work seems curiously fitting.

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin

As does this haiku by Basho* we read this morning:

       Another year gone—
hat in my hand,
sandals on my feet.

 

*from The Essential Haiku

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