Thought that I’d write about happiness, but I’m not sure. I think I’m naturally skeptical about “happy.” Like it could be taken away from me at any moment. It’s got something to do with getting older too, I bet. You go more cynical, more hesitant to trust people. To fall in love. To believe in sincerity. Or, rather, you just accept it as an integral part of yourself. This thing. The black rooster sitting on your shoulder, whispering cautionary tales. Remember? Remember last time?
And you do remember. You remember everything, constantly and all the time. It’s impossible to escape the things that made you and shaped you. I’m reading Murakami’s ‘After Dark’ and he wrote this:
“You know what I think?” she says. “That people’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn’t matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. They’re all just fuel. Advertising fillers in the newspaper, philosophy books, dirty pictures in a magazine, a bundle of ten-thousand-yen bills: when you feed ’em to the fire, they’re all just paper. The fire isn’t thinking ‘Oh, this is Kant,’ or ‘Oh, this is the Yomiuri evening edition,’ or ‘Nice tits,’ while it burns. To the fire, they’re nothing but scraps of paper. It’s the exact same thing. Important memories, not-so-important memories, totally useless memories: there’s no distinction–they’re all just fuel.”
So let’s burn ’em. And if there’s no inherent value in a memory, then there is only the moment. The one place in time. And maybe that’s where the happy is? To horribly paraphrase Camus: Sisyphus is powerless when he’s pushing the boulder up the mountain, but he is stronger than any god when he goes after it as the rock tumbles back down the cliffside. When he accepts life’s absurdity and embraces it.
Moral of the story?
Learn to notice. Be present when it happens. Then burn it to make room for the next one.