Happy (underlined six times).

For Vanessa 07.11.10 (c) C. Quintana 2010

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)


2 thoughts on “Happy (underlined six times).

  1. I agree wholeheartedly on happiness. It was an awesome night. It’s so wonderful how simple quotes can change our days and even lead us to throw a new leash on life. I know for sure the one in your book would have made me tear up as well. The Aristotle one is so close and true that it almost slaps us in the face sometimes. Anyways, I think you’re swell. ‘Nuff said. ^_^

  2. Thanks, Matt. You’re pretty swell yourself. I tend to live in and around quotes– I just eat them up. Keep doing what you love and being wonderful. CQ

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