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01 August 2015 @ 12:50 am
les gens heureux n'ont pas d'histoire  
i was asked: are you basically happy?

there’s this fine line. let’s call it emotional edge play. or maybe living at the crossroads. in my experience, as much as we desire happiness, having it tends to lead to complacency and complacent people do not write. not the way i write. not the way that most of you write. not when we’re really writing.

if we were basically happy, what the fuck would we need to write about? glowing testimonials, describing our happiness, perhaps. guess what? in my experience, happy people don’t brag, either, so there may be some painful manufacturing involved in that glow. on the other hand, i suspect my dollar-based keystrokes would get a lot less agonizing, because even without the fire i still have the technical skill.

of course, there's also this dark insight: would a basically happy person need to read the kinds of things i write? to the extent of resonance, i mean?

probably not so much.

working my way through some creative conflicts in the scripting process for this television show i seem to be authoring whether i intended to or not (not sure. i love the story, i love realizing it and cultivating it, i love my characters and the world they're creating, something long term and building on itself. there's really a purpose to the project, which is brilliant. but bringing it into reality, the prospect of attempting that realization process, it's terrifying, unlikely, and possibly fatal for someone with my pathology of fissures), this snippet of conversation explained my own feelings on the matter better than i really could:

d: …i’d rather just—go with whatever seems most likely to make me happy.
a [squints] how do you know that?
d: what’s most likely to make me happy?
a: [waits]
d: i, um—i mean, you can—learn that. you can work it out. you know what’s most likely to be best for you.
a: you don’t. you can’t. nobody can.
d: well, sure, there’s—accidents. flukes. but odds are that—if you make the right decisions…
a: is being happy the point?
d: isn’t it?
a: [thinks] so far i think that happiness—it’s a canteen. a survival tool. you get this ration of it at the beginning of things. and you’ll get some happiness, a lot of the times at strategic intervals, in strategic ways. at some points in your life, it’s just enough to keep you going. just enough so you understand what happiness is like. so you want to do the work to get more. so you do the stuff you’re supposed to do because nobody would put up with some of this shit if there wasn’t an awesome reward like happiness possibly waiting for you or someone you love. but it isn’t the point. we wouldn’t keep coming back to these lives if it was.
d: what’s the point?
a: are you asking me the meaning of life?
d: …sorry.
a: i can’t know that. but i feel like it might be some combination of taking responsibility for yourself, being there for others, and learning to transform experience into wisdom. [glances] at the very least, i think doing those things significantly contributes to everyone’s experience, here. so even if we’re born, we run our biological processes until they stop, and that’s it—poof, everything smash cuts to existential black—even if there is no meaning, it’s better to live as if there is. because even though my life is over, there are all these lives i’ve had an impact on that still continue. so we do live on, even if we don’t.

so i guess my answer is no, i’m not basically happy. but i do have happiness in my life, and sometimes it is enough. a lot of the time it isn't, but navigating that is an important initiation for me, creatively.
music: motionfield - embrace
translucentflowerfalls on August 6th, 2015 04:58 pm (UTC)
"even if there is no meaning, it’s better to live as if there is"