A. Open eyes. Open hands. Open heart. Open mind.
Jesus, and I would say hello, and then see what happens, listening and watching and using every other sense available to me as the moments passed.
A. Amazing Grace and all those many, other great hymns and spirituals. Any of Tom Waits’ ballads. “The Flower Duet” from Léo Delibes’ Lakmé. Just about all of Paolo Conte’s repertoire, and all of J.S. Bach's. A fair amount of Kate Bush.
A. Is there perfect happiness on this earth? I don't think so—though we're granted glimpses of eternity. For me, a deep experience of happiness comes when I'm with people I love and we are content, maybe walking by water (preferably a large and salty body of it) or sitting in comfortable chair by a fireplace (crackling with a fire made of cherry and birch wood). Also something delicious to eat and drink—that's often a part of the experience, too. Good conversation and companionable silence. A great book. Poems read aloud. Music playing, and the quiet that comes after.
A. Not fiction, but Shakespeare’s villains take the cake. Also, for me, at least, Flannery O’Conner’s.