Wednesday, September 21, 2005

happiness is

My exposure to the horrors resulting from Hurricane Katrina has been only through TV, newspaper and the weekly new magazine - and blogs. Oddly enough, it was writer Poppy Z. Brite's entries, with her joy (and subsequent pain) of finding behind her cats she'd left behind (semiferal now, hence the alarming slash at her ear), that made it at last real to me.

There is an oddness to media -especially TV, to me - that renders everything I see there somehow less than real. Instead of providing a sense of immediacy, my perhaps-jaded eyes are instead further distanced. Maybe it's my way of dealing with the terrible tragedy, or maybe the snow queen's splinter has completely wormed its way into my heart, beyond my capacity to remove.

Anyway, Brite quoted a line from Peanuts (and somehow, I remember seeing this in a Peanuts calendar, I think, I'm not sure):

"The secret of happiness is having three things to look forward to and nothing to dread."

That gave me pause. Nothing to dread. It means that myself and everyone I know will never know happiness, if we subscribe to this aphorism. Thanks, Linus.

I'd rather go with the entire sappy lyrics of "Happiness Is" from "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown", if we need to have Peanuts Philosophy, particularly:

"Happiness is being alone every now and then, and happiness is coming home again."
But better is the Peanut Gallery Philosophy:

"Happiness is a choice; and right now, I choose to have a cigarette."


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