I shot up at a little before 7 this morning with a thought I needed to write down. A piece of a story, I think:
He would have done anything to keep her happy– the way they had been, or even the way he had imagined it. She was a wanderer, she got lost.
When he had too much to drink at parties and his insecurities began to surface as the water permeated his scotch, he would too-loudly say, “You know one day my wife’s going to kill me.” People would nod their heads “knowingly” and laugh in that uncomfortable party-goer way. The funny thing, not funny ha-ha, but funny, terrifying: is she did in a way.
I often, especially in the last year or so, think about happiness. Happiness versus contentment. What it means to be happy. Why we, especially Americans, have such a desire to achieve some ideal “happiness.”
I remember a rehearsal last spring, during a break or maybe before we started work, when the director brought up that life’s about procreation not happiness. That may be true. We definitely, certainly, without-a-doubt, have the intense inborn need to make babies and live on through those babies. I’m not going to deny that! In fact, the internal siren that goes off any time I see a little being below the age of two tells me that I’d be lying if I did.
But, I think it’s about happiness too.
I’ve been clearing out my bookshelves. Selling my life to Maple Street Bookshop. Needless to say, it’s been an emotional romp through the pages. Anyhow, I came across this book that my high school French teacher gave me as a graduation gift four years ago. She wrote a note on the front flap and the last line read, “It doesn’t matter what you do, just be happy.” Happy is underlined six times. You’d better believe I teared up.
I know that I have Aristotle’s back on this one– or he has mine. According to Aristotle: “Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
Post Blank Canvas closing performance last night, I sat with a table full of actors and friends, laughing and chatting enough to fill the empty restaurant to the brim. This is happiness, I thought to myself.
What do you think?
(To see the video. Or visit: http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=1479838469588)