Tuesday, November 6, 2007

november six

(in response to november sixth)

I’m happy, sure. If that’s the answer you’re looking for. And as far as I can tell this is what you mean when you ask the question. But I’ve always had trouble with the way you use language.

Are you happy? Like it’s some sort of valid question, with some sort of equally valid response. Like happiness is something consistent, something enduring, something that defines you, something that you can maintain – like I am woman, I am breathing. If it were something like this, there wouldn’t be much point in asking the question. Happy wouldn’t mean anything.

Those who come close to some sort of enduring answer don’t know happy like I do. They throw the word around, like we throw around love… not in any way that means anything. And I guess, to them, it doesn’t. What they speak of is mere contentment, mere satisfaction. They are, merely, resigned to feel less. They are, merely, motion sick from the fluctuations. They are, merely, afraid to feel less than ‘happy’.

And so, while they don’t suffer, they also don’t soar.

My sadness is intrinsic to my happiness. My sorrow pervades every moment, every emotion I feel. But don’t cry for me. I’m happy, sure. This is, in fact, the very reason for my sorrow. In my willingness to feel, I exist in extremes. I have accepted that this is – must – be the case. And so, I have accepted that whatever happiness comes over me, it will be fleeting. And I grieve these brief glimpses most especially when my whole body smiles. While at other times, my mind dulls these memories so that I can go about my day not missing it, like a dear lost friend.

Are you happy? You ask me like you aren’t even aware of the implications.


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