Letters to Tom — Peaks/Troughs

Dear Tom:

A Sufi poem begins:

The moon shines in the darkness;
Bringing joy to all.
A dog howls in response;
According to its nature.
We can’t blame the moon
Just because the dog disturbs us.

To me the poem is about reality. We often experience a high and low from the same event. The glass is both half full and half empty. Sufis call this phenomena a peak/trough experience. For example a peak/trough moment is how we feel both joy for a friend’s good fortune, and a twinge of regret that the good fortune didn’t come our way.

When we experience these moments we often focus on either the high or the low. We either focus on the shining moon or curse the howling dog, and it is not unusual for the howling dog to dominate. Instead, perhaps we are supposed to embrace the entirety of an event as the “truth.” When we are faced with choices in our life we should embrace both the hills and the valleys as our reality. Then we can pursue our sacred purpose not cursing the troughs, but reflecting on how we bring the entire moment into action now.

Your Friend, Webb

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.


  1. A wise person once told me that Life is 10% what happens to you…and 90% how you deal with it!
    you inspire me everyday1

  2. Who among us is qualified to say that the dog howling is other than the dog’s way of praising the beauty that God provides us? After all, didn’t God provide all of his animals a way of communicating rather than assuming that its howl is the voice of the Enemy? So, why should its howling disturb us? Maybe, we let the Enemy influence our attitude?
    Your friend,

  3. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

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