funny, if you have to ask 'what is happiness?' you may never have experienced it! on the other hand, none of us really knows what 'normal' is. the code in whitefish, montana, definitely not that of san francisco. (a movie i remember with a lot of affection: leaving normal. two women in a vw bus flee nebraska and end up in alaska homesteading.)
and it seems like happiness equally vague and transitory. it happened to me the other day, sitting in costco, eating chicken bake. i looked at bright lights above in a criss-cross of steel as though they were stars in heaven. all the decayed and growing people passing held my interest. i didn't flinch or look at the ground as i often do. what i thought was: wow, it's amazing to be so relaxed and at home in the world.
if that were normal, would i know it as happiness? i have realized one element always present with happiness: feeling at home and comfortable in your own body. morphine must help the dying to experience a moment of bliss. when i visited my friend randy in the hospital this summer, his state didn't seem so bad. i came away feeling death not nearly so bad as i had thought. after all, i suspect we never know when we're dead!
that morbid thought aside, i do have to admit over all contentment comes from realizing your five-year-old dreams, the early ones before school and puberty twist us into knots. for example, in whitefish i'd stage one-person shows for the neighborhood, wrapping myself in a white sheet and declaiming to the crowd. what the content might of been completely escapes my memory.
lately, i've been taking advantage of youtube, posting the movie 'mother thunder' made in 1973 by a bunch of neophytes. it's lovely to see my young body before time has done it's worst. i read a poem 'spaceships', entitled a video 'the performance artist' with my mother's voice from the grave detailing a bit of my youth, and mused a bit on 'berlin' and 'therapy' from a series of autobiographical writings written in 1989. i've yet to sing one of the songs i've written, but that's coming.
so, the circle begins to be completed. happiness? maybe. that remains to be seen. at least the technology has caught up with my childhood.