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Sunday, May 13, 2012
You Can Have Happy
Why do we love tragedies? Why do we love a good cry? Why do we subject ourselves to the Twilight Saga? I mean really?! Why do we do it to ourselves? For the record, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve seen ALL the Twilight movies thus far and have every intention of seeing the next one. Not because I think that they are well written, acted, edited, or filmed, or that any of the actors are even attractive. Maybe it’s the fact that they are precisely not so that makes it so appealing, like they’ve gone so far down the road to bad that somehow they have circled the vast globe of badness and have magically found their way back toward something approaching good. Or at least interesting. Maybe morbidly so. Which is good. Which brings me back to my point: why do we love things that can be morbidly bad? Like Roquefort cheese. Have you tasted that jazz? It’s the most smelly-foot smelling and tasting cheese in the world of smelly-foot cheeses and I’m here to tell you that the stuff is off the hook! Yeah, I’m not going to eat it by the pound, but a morsel of Roquefort judiciously spread over a crispy wheat cracker is something that borders on perfection.
Why do we like things that aren’t all roses and laughs? Maybe it’s because what is most satisfying in life isn’t being happy. That’s what the Blues are all about. Being happy just one part of what it is like to be human. Because as human beings we thrive by working to understanding what we are. And to appreciate our own humanity means to understand everything that it is to be human: loss, joy, love, meanness, disappointment, gut-splitting laughter, an ache so large in the heart that it feels as if someone is literally standing on your chest. All of it. It’s because we cannot define ourselves by happiness alone, beyond happiness we keep searching for all the other things that make us US. It’s why we make decisions that we know are going to hurt but there is no other way. So we do it. We travel that tough road because we know that there is something over on the other side that calls to our True Self and we really have no other choice.
As if happiness weren’t large enough a word. It’s more about living this life to the fullest by accepting everything that this life will throw at us. It’s presence, which is what we cultivate and practice in yoga and meditation. Being present with a well-lived sadness is a great way of offering a gift to others in that sadness is such a real part of being human and expressing it fully reminds us all of the beautiful phenomenon of being. Just listen to John Lee Hooker sing Rainy Day and you’ll know what I mean.
So, you can expect to find me sometime in the near future contemplating existence while sitting alone in some dark theater, crying in tandem with the plaintive and gaunt Abercrombie models, alone, purely because no one can stand the smelly-feet perfection of my Roquefort movie treat. All this while being the most content person in the world. You can have happy.
Come as you are to practice and let’s agree to live all of it to the fullest.