Monday, February 14, 2011
Pursuit? That's Like Running, Right?
As a citizen of the United States, I have a Constitutional right to the pursuit of happiness, but thankfully there's no imperative to actually hunt it down. Pursuit sounds a tad too strenuous for my taste. If happiness were to suddenly appear, I'd want to be looking my best, not all sweaty in my ratty workout clothes. Besides, one look at my handcuffs, and happiness would surely turn heel and flee.
Now, lying in wait, that I could do.
The biggest mistake, of course, is confusing other things for happiness. A truly fine piece of chocolate is momentary joy, but it isn't happiness. Money in the bank may be satisfying, but again, it isn't happiness. Unless it is happiness for you. Like three people looking at a shade of pinkish-purple and trying to decide if it's fuchsia, mauve, or orchid, happiness is in the eye of the beholder.
But assuming that I'd know happiness when I saw it, what kind of trap would I use to capture it? Do I want ferocious happiness? That calls for a tiger pit. Delirious happiness? I'm thinking maybe a high-powered dart gun and duct tape. Ethereal happiness? World's biggest butterfly net.
What to use as bait? Illusory happiness seems drawn to self-deception, while quiet happiness likes to curl up on a warm lap.
And where to store it? I know that you'll be shocked, but my house didn't come with a dungeon. Oh, the humanity! Not that I'd keep happiness shackled to a wall. No. Happiness is kind of like fireflies. Fun to run after in bare feet across the lawn at dusk, fun to trap in an old mayonnaise jar for a couple of minutes, but best just experienced in the moment and let go.