Happiness app review. Also a poem.

“Death” playing the cornetto, and escorting someone to the “other side.” The medieval genre is called the “Dance of Death.”

Do you want a quick recommendation for an app designed to get you in the flow of happiness? It’s a little counterintuitive, because its focus is on death. Your death. That’s right. Here’s the write up from the makers of the WeCroak app (website here):





Find happiness by contemplating your mortality with the WeCroak app. Each day, we’ll send you five invitations at randomized times to stop and think about death. It’s based on a Bhutanese folk saying that to be a happy person one must contemplate death five times daily.

The WeCroak invitations come at random times and at any moment just like death. When they come, you can open the app for a quote about death from a poet, philosopher, or notable thinker.

You are encouraged to take one moment for contemplation, conscious breathing or meditation when WeCroak notifications arrive. We find that a regular practice of contemplating mortality helps spur needed change, accept what we must, let go of things that don’t matter and honor things that do.

Here’s the quote that I am looking at right now in my WeCroak app:

The best thing to hold onto in life is each other

–Audrey Hepburn

And, going along with this existential theme, here’s a poem I wrote about Arlington Cemetery, where I’ve sounded “Taps” many times for military funerals there:

My Other


It’s eighteen in Arlington,

and snow fell last night.

I was dreaming at two of a river and you,

while three waxwings flew by.

You aren’t my lover, my son or my mother,

nor the old man wrapped in tatters.

You are my other that I glimpsed only once,

in a sideways glance.

A glance over the cold grass of death.




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