Tag Archives: home

On Happiness

Happy.  It’s a word with which I’ve never been comfortable, and yet I think about it a lot.  The thing is, for a word we use so indescribably often, I’m not sure I even really know what it means.  Is happiness the absence of sadness?  Surely there’s always something to be sad about, isn’t there?  Is happiness what happens when everything is finally right?  Because nothing is ever completely right, just as it’s never all completely wrong (though that’s harder to see sometimes).

I recently finished the comic book edition of Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness.  He claims happiness is what all us humans are after at the end of the day.  I like his story: Bright, driven kid finds a new way of doing things, stepping a bit more lightly upon the underdog and making a crapload of spondoolies in the process. But I’m not sure I agree with the premise of the book, that all anyone really wants is to be happy.  Because if happiness is the absence of sadness, or that moment when everything is right, the fact is it simply doesn’t exist.  And if all anyone ever wanted was to be happy, and the truth was that happiness didn’t even exist, we’d all be going stark raving mad, “waiting for Godot,” as it were.


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Spider Webs

Is there anything quite like walking through a spider web?  For those of us with our spider issues (I’m not phobic, but nearly), the sensation rests somewhere between a shudder and a gag.  The other morning, out jogging at 6:00 am, I was the lucky human that got to tear through all…those…webs.

I use the word “tear” here quite intentionally:  while the feeling it evokes in humans is far from pleasant, I can’t imagine how awful it must be for the spiders.  And yet, I can tell you exactly what they do:  they re-weave.  They probably don’t hum and haw and go tell their neighbor spiders about how horrible it was (oh, the arachnidity!).  They just get on with it.  Far-less dignified dogs enthralled with their daily walk carelessly destroy hours of intricate labor, and they re-weave.  Screaming little girls flail their arms madly about them in horror, certain there is an army of 8-legged creepy-crawlies making a home of their hair, and they re-weave. Depending on the type of spider, it could just be a particularly windy day, and they re-weave.

We humans aren’t quite so zen about it all.  Home is a word that means a lot more than the place where we sleep and trap flies who we’ll bring to a demise worthy of the most horrible horror films.  Home is where we raise our children, where we make love to our partners, where we break bread with the people we love most dearly in the world.  Home is – or should be – where we seek sanctuary.

Only sometimes, that just isn’t the case.

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Home…for now.

So whether we like it or not (or whether we like admitting it or not), we have spent the last two weeks immersed in a sea of consumerism.  Since arriving in France we’ve stayed at Chris’ parents’ place while we looked for a flat that would work for us.  The right flat was really important for a couple of reasons – working from home means we spend a lot of time at home…and as a vegan in a pretty small town in France, eating out isn’t something we can do very often.  So while we do try to come out of our cave at least once a day, the flat needed to be a place we could breathe.

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Even good things come in 3’s

I’ve never done this before, but it isn’t often that I’ve got a book, a movie, and a song I think EVERYONE ALIVE should read / see / hear…

So these are not reviews…suffice it to say that I truly feel more in tune with the world around me for having been exposed to them…and that’s not to say that it was all easy to take in.

First, the book:

Insofar as is possible, this is simply an exposé.  Foer endeavors to avoid any deeply emotive reactions, although I imagine that in his journey to create the book there were some decidedly emotional moments. It’s chock-full of data and facts…and there are about 30 pages at the back devoted exclusively to endnotes and source material.

The movie:

This film came out almost exactly 2 years ago.  I know.  I’m not exactly “with it” anymore.  Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, please do.  The imagery is breathtaking…Yann Arthus-Bertrand is a force.

And the song:

Most of you will know Lush, the delectable brand of cosmetics that is notoriously ethical in all it does…they are currently promoting the song by asking people to help get it to the top of the charts.  Not gonna lie – this one’s a tear-jerker…

And just a disclaimer…these plugs come from Ann exclusively…though I’m sure Chris will agree they’re all groovy, I can tell you that he hasn’t yet read the book, he’d probably giggle at me for sending out word about a 2-year old movie, and he hasn’t yet heard the song.  This was my whim-post…

And if any of you has had the chance, or gets the chance to indulge in any of these, please let me know your thoughts.


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