Poetry Break: Flip the Weather Switch by Claudia Ricci

By: Claudia Ricci, Ph.D.




Poetry Break: Flip the Weather Switch by Claudia Ricci two drops of ink marilyn l davis
Outside Claudia’s Window


Once again the weather forecast calls for a solid grey day.

But once again they – whoever the forecasters are – have got it wrong.

Maybe we can explain it this way: weather men are operating out of the same negativity bias that scientists tell us is hard wired into our brains because long long ago in very ancient times humans had to be on guard for every possible saber-toothed tiger and other disaster lurking around each corner.

Consider this: scientists say that negative emotions have three times the impact that positive emotions do.

So if 24 wonderful things happen to you today and just one bad thing

It’s quite likely the dark event will shadow your whole mood.

But the really good news is

It doesn’t have to be that way once you know what’s going on.

Like right now, I am sitting here

staring into the forest and somehow the sky is turning that powdery blue right outside the window.

How grateful I am for this respite.

I count it as one of those ordinary miracles in every moment.

Keep counting.  Start with the heart that is beating

continue with the eyes that take in the grandeur all around me.

Step back and see that every thought comes via something

astonishing called your brain, an organ scientists

cannot fully explain.

I am glad that one thing they know for sure:

 “Whatever we practice will grow stronger.”

And this too, “happiness can be trained because the brain can be modified.”

And so I am training myself to come into every moment

aiming to be grateful for another breath

and a long list of blessings

that starts and ends with my family

and friends and

extends to red and yellow roses and pine trees and dogs and art and poetry and every part of Italy and dazzling emerald ocean waves and sunny meadows and warm winds and soft white sand and hard black rocks and vivid crystals and cool clean water and purple orchids and laughter and azure skies and billions of twinkling stars and stunning sunsets and sweet fragrances and elephants and baby smiles and all sorts of music and dancing and romance and singing and books

and even this

cup of coffee in the Caribbean colored mug that I enjoy every morning.

Once you start being grateful you realize you can’t stop giving thanks.

Because every single thing in existence is just so astonishing.

Most extraordinary of all,

are these fundamentals:

love and hope and openness and kindness

all of which bathe us in a brain chemical called dopamine.

The more you fill yourself with love the more full you will be.

In Italy it sounds like this:

“Te voglio bene.”

I love you.

So the key is

Just keep opening your heart


a hand over your bare chest

and leave it there

unlock the juiciness

that occupies each experience


a slow and steady sizzle of


And witness this shower of sunshine that is falling over the meadow

Right now.

And be healed by it.


Poetry Break: Flip the Weather Switch by Claudia Ricci two drops of ink marilyn l davis
Claudia’s Skyline

Bio: Claudia Ricci, Ph.D.

claudia ricci Ph.D. Monthly Contributor at Two Drops of Ink Marilyn l davisClaudia was a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and a prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, where one of her projects was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Her novels include:

  • Dreaming Maples, published in 2002, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize
  • Seeing Red, January 2011
  • Sister Mysteries, July 2018

Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines nationwide.

Ricci spent 15 years teaching English and journalism at the University at Albany and was a visiting professor for one year at Georgetown University.

To order her novels, visit her website at www.claudiajricci.com

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One comment

  1. Thank you Claudia. I’m sure your post has done my heart more good than the blood pressure medication I take each morning. I preach “an attitude of gratitude” to everyone I care about. Thank you for reminding me to preach it to myself:)

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