Three Versions of Happiness
1) Refrain from seeking happiness. Be happiness.
2) Become the cause of happiness in others.
3) All right. That’s marvelous in theory. But how do you go on when every morning brings news of the intolerable, the intolerable that we all tolerate?
How do you consciously continue the divine comedy, momentarily detouring Dante’s hoary inferno infested with infamy and ferocious flames, braising the bottoms of all who perpetrate the unallowable?
How do you smile while the unacceptable must be accepted as readily as a close relative who’s committed a felony?
What you do is you dive into a cleansing kaleidoscope pool, where light refracts and retracts and resumes, a beneficial cataract refocusing the lazy lens. You listen again to Sonny Rollins playing “St. Thomas,” the calypso in him rising upward like molten beeswax in cooling water. You watch the antics of a mockingbird staking out her territory, wings like a pterodactyl, with the same screeching cutting cries, a tactile presence of prehistoric stories unexpectedly climaxing in the Age of Distraction.
You eat a spoon of honey. Or you eat a handful of cherry tomatoes as though they were cherries.
Or you forage for strawberries and discover beneath a leaf a surprise serpent lurking, offering forbidden fruit. Knowledge dangerous or comestible sublime – they’re identical when right and wrong are interchangeable and every injury to the collective spirit gets absorbed in silence.
Yes. Of course you accept whatever is given, whatever is decreed.
You understand what we must do to get through the daily intolerable that comprises a life.
And now you are wise. And maybe happy.