Sunday, February 15, 2009

the object(s) of happiness

i'm not sure why i've spent so much time of late thinking about happiness, but the fact is, i have. maybe it's my incessant reading of the curmudgeonly paul theroux (it depends on which one you're reading...his more recent stuff (dark star safari and ghost train) is less curmudgeonly). i'm now reading his happy isles of oceania and he's back to being a curmudgeon. and it has a lot to do with his level of personal happiness and it seems his long-crumbling marriage is in the final stages of crumbling in happy isles.

happiness is affected by so many factors. those people around us--the ones closest, but also the random ones we encounter every day. our jobs. our co-workers. our kids. our pets. the food we eat. our homes. things we create. whether we have time to be creative at all. having enough money. whether we have someone to clean for us. staying in a fabulous hotel. taking a vacation. what we read. how much t.v. we watch. movies we see. do these things make us happy or do we seek out all of these things because we're already happy? it's the chicken and the egg, really, which comes first?

living in this grey, dreary climate, i've found that my camera can contribute greatly to my happiness. there was plenty of sunshine the past two days and i took a lot of pictures. so, today, i can look at this jumble of glass beads in full sunshine and remember how wonderful that sunshine was:

and having the picture can help me through the dreariness. i've written before about the capacity of color to make me happy. and i can see that the things i was drawn to photograph in the sunshine of the past two days were colorful. something about the rays of the sun on bright colors is so cheerful. of course, it helps that this home is filled with bright colors, so there must be something to knowing on an intuitive level that they contribute to my happiness.

maybe all of the gloom and doom that fills the newspapers every day is what has me consciously thinking about happiness and what makes me happy. or maybe it was just the cupcake i had for breakfast...


Sebrina Wilson said...

I love this post. I stopped watching the news year ago when i came to the realization that it is a business like any other and it is trying to sell me something... fear! Fear sells. And I don't need fear and unhappiness in my life. And I am much happier now. (somethings of course are hard to escape).

I also find this winter is much easier on my then others and I think it is because of my photography. I have found much happiness in it!

xo Sebrina

will said...

Perhaps the concept of happiness is in the air - because it's been missing for sometime now. Many do recognize the mess the earth is in, and it hasn't helped when stuck with horrible presidents and such.

I donno ... I certainly don't feel I'm a happy guy, despite a few wonderful and great things in my life. But there are happiness bubbles which give pleasure and comfort. And with that, I suppose, I can get through my days.

And, thank you for liking our living room. In the evening we usually sit with glasses of wine, listening to either classical or be-bop jazz - and we are happy.

Dutchbaby said...

If I have a few moments every day to create or see some beautiful things, I am a very happy camper. Beautiful things like your glass beads in the sunshine or the knitting project with needles sticking out like little enoki mushrooms.