Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happiness Is.....

An elusive butterfly, according to Henry David Thoreau. Something that is worked at and not a gift of the gods, according to Bertrand Russell. And Anything and everything at all, that's loved by you, according to Charlie Brown.

They are all correct and incorrect at the same time, the joys of being human. I know someone that whenever I speak to them after the initial "How are you?" they say "FANTASTIC!" Really? Fantastic! All the time, whenever I speak with you? Is it me making you so happy or are you just one of those permanently happy people? Doing drugs? Delusional? You should not be Fantastic, things should and do suck, right?

Well, yes they do. Life has a way of sucking the joy right out of you sometimes, even more so when there wasn't that much there to being with. Most mental health care professionals posit that you have a finite happiness quotient. Happiness is hereditary. So if you come from chronically unhappy parents, guess what? You're liable to be miserable your entire life. That's when free will and self-help books kick in because of course, you can do something about this and not always with drugs, usually with sticking fucking post-its on your mirrors with pithy sayings like: "I am somebody!" "Happiness is a choice." "Today is the first day of the rest of my life." Yeah, how's that working for you?

I am an optimistic person, for the most part, especially when surrounded by pessimism, I tend to go to my happy place. But at the core of me, at the root and at my foundation, unhappy. When I stop and get still peace is not all its cracked up to be. I am one of those chronically dramatic people who seeks excitement, adventure and spectacle. Being a theatre artist it comes to me by training and being a Leo it comes to me by birth. But, know what? I am not happy in those highly dramatic moments either. So who is right? What does happiness consist of?

I think, ultimately that it is a series of moments, events and decisions that create happiness. And I am also going to choose to believe that we can live there every second of every day if we chose, not overlooking the sadness or the drama or the pain, rather invitiing all those things in for tea. Life can be so harsh a great deal of the time. And all we (and I am speaking royally here) have is well, yea, our reaction to it.

So Happiness is.....I'm going with Charlie Brown on this one.

in peace

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall On Me

Tell the sky and tell the sky fall on me. ~ REM

I want the sky to fall on me. To smother me with stars and milky ways and galaxies. To cushion me with clouds and water me with rain. And blanket me with night until I wake and find out it was all a dream.

Life is good right now. It is hard at the same time. I enjoy being in the place where I can see that things are not perfect, not even close, but that my life is so much better than it was two years ago or even better than the homeless person who camps out on our corner with his dog. He sits there twice a week reading Nietzsche. As if he needed more backup for nihilism. A part of me wants to grab a cardboard box and sit down next to him and ask him about his life. What did he do when he was five and how did he get there. But I know myself. I am the girl who's mother would take her wallet every time we went to 125th Street because she knew I would give money to every crackhead and alcoholic who asked. It is in my nature. Now I try to look compassionately as I walk past but don't offer money and definitely don't sit down and strike up a conversation. My father would have. And would have walked away not feeling guilty for not having done more.

My son is my father incarnate. He has no fear and no walls. He finds people fascinating and they in return adore him up close and from afar. People literally stop on the streets to stare at him. He has that glow. I can take no credit for the light inside of him or the joy he brings other people, especially me and his father. I can just smile and be grateful that I have been chosen to usher this great soul through this part of his life. Hopefully staying out of his way long enough to keep the light intact. Smothering is a great hazard in the parenting biz.

And I am one of those people who looks for the highs in life. It had me misdiagnosed as bipolar for a moment there. I am not bipolar. I am an adventure seeker. An edge walker. A theatre artist. I was grateful for the doctor who saw that. That I work in waves. I attack a project and see it to its logical conclusion and then I hibernate for awhile. Leos do that. They seek the Sun and they seek their lair. They need the red hotness of the Sun, for they are the Sun. But they are also a fixed sign and they need stability and tradition and dare I say it, routine. It took me 39 years to realize that that is my routine. The burning energy and then the retreat. It works for me. I have been in a rather long state of hibernation. Taking some time to smooth my heart down. But now I feel the Sun calling me to dance in her rays. I want the sky to fall on me.

New projects are dancing in front of me. New energy is filling me up. New thoughts and ideas as well as new friends and adventures. My life today looks completely different than it did one year ago. And I realized that as I watched my son who was known as the Mayor of South Orange walk down Columbus Avenue and be called by his name by more than one shop owner. He is himself, wherever he is. He lets his light shine always. He can't help it. So, who am I to not join his parade.

Buy the sky and sell the sky and lift your arms up to the sky
And ask the sky and ask the sky
Fall on me.