With the fleeting nature of emotions, is it possible to pin down the feeling of happiness? Or is it a state of mind? Is happiness a harmonious balance between the physical body and the chemical and hormone ladled brain?
I believe that happiness is a state of being that is fleeting. It is an emotion that you cannot necessarily describe, but you undoubtedly know it when you see or experience it.
If I taste something that is peculiarly interesting, I am happy. In fact, if I eat something that is so one-of-a-kind delicious, like a Honey Crisp apple, I may even break into some stunted and cholicy happy dance that looks half like a gout attack and half robot dance. Then the taste fades into a memory.
Try another bite. It’s great, but it doesn’t match that first time. You will never duplicate your first experience. You just have to be content that your flavor explosion is in the past. Sadly, if enough time passes, you may even forget how incredible Honey Crisp apples taste.
You may even defer to a far inferior product, a Granny Smith. Happiness is fleeting like a breath. Enjoy it if you can.
In July, Heather and I will fly out to Honduras. This will be our third year in a row. It’s our annual mission trip to share the Gospel with precious children with Ignite Missions. Can we call it a vacation? Perhaps. After all, we are going to the murder capital of the world. That sounds restful.
Our mission leaders go to great lengths to keep us safe. Perhaps a little too safe. I can’t even break away to get some street food. I’ve eaten street food in Haiti where cholera is troublesome. That’s my badge of honor regarding third world eats.
Santiago, the bus driver, will make sure we are safe in our travels. Last year when we left Amapala Island, we were driving up a mountain on a narrow two lane road with no shoulders. At dusk, he passed a big rig in a blind turn on the mountain. Oh, and there was oncoming traffic. It was exciting. I was thrilled at what I saw unfolding while many on the bus closed their eyes and started praying. I genuinely thought that was one of the highlights.
The beauty of the country contrasting with the poverty was hard to reconcile. The Honduran people generally seem hopeful. At least in rural areas. How can Americans where even the poorest are considered wealthy to over 90% of the world be unhappy? Perhaps it’s the stuff that chains us to misery. Maybe plunging into an environment that strips most of the excess is a vacation. Sometimes I even have wifi so I can play Candy Crush.
Post is in response to the IBQ weekly writing challenge.
(I wrote this last night about forty five minutes after my nightly dose of Ambien. I couldn’t figure out how to post it last night, but I’m impressed that I had the presence of mind to focus on pancakes).
I’m laying on the couch feeling like James Caan on Misery. Remember when he was hobbled by that crazy fan lady? I’ve been on my feet all day and most of last night.
In my arthritic haze I think about food. Who am I kidding? I always think about food. Chronic pain aside I’m thinking about pancakes. My ambien is making me feel a bit off but you need to try these coffee pancakes.
These pancakes are simply amazing. Even my four year old loves them, but she already loves coffee ice cream. I guess it’s not much of a stretch. Besides, who doesn’t love pancakes?
Solitude is a cool word. Not like, “Whoa! Dude! That’s cool!” It’s not even beatnik cool. Solitude is like a cool brook meandering in a silent forest.
I have three daughters. Solitude is fleeting. My house normally sounds like a dozen roofers pounding nails, that little Who from Whoville prancing around banging cymbals, a tornado siren blaring, and Leatherface trimming my hedges with his trusty chainsaw.
There is no loneliness in our household. My wife and I make jokes about it. She is going to run away to Costa Rica, I’m going to divorce her and let her keep the kids…oh, you play that game too.
The girls will be home from school soon. Let the games begin.