It isn't a picture of a David and me in our living room, but it's not exactly not us.

This isn’t a picture of a David and me in our living room, but it’s not exactly not us.

 

I was reading Kipling’s autobiography, “Something of Myself,” in the tub. (Though I grew up in Montana, I hate winter and I’ve never been able to get used to the cold. India seemed like a good destination, at least in terms of climate.)

Anyway, after he survives the rigors of British childhood in the care of some particularly abusive religious fanatics, young Rudyard returns to his birth family and is delighted to learn that they are wise, kind, gentle people. In describing this reunion, he says,

“Not only were we happy, but we knew it.” 

At the risk of being unbearably smarmy, I have to say that these words struck me as about the nicest thing I’d ever read. What a double blessing, not only to be happy, but to be aware of the fact. I wish that charmed state of being to everyone.

All cool exteriors aside, thanks to my own family, friends and pure dumb luck, I have known plenty of happiness. (Though maybe I didn’t always know I was knowing it.)

I tried to draw a picture to go with the quote… (I confess I thought of the quick buck I could make on Etsy selling the quote alone. If they like LiveLaughLove, they’ll crap over this one!) But the drawing didn’t really come out too great.

Nonetheless, (and in spite of the fact that warm sentiment makes me feel barfy) it’s something I wanted to share with the big, tired world during this saddest of seasons.

Not because I want to baptize you in my smugness. Not to coerce you into being happy. And not to pretend that I’ll ever be smart enough or giving enough to make the slightest difference to all the people out there who can’t even dream of knowing happiness.

I just feel like it’s a good thing to think about. What, to those of us who have no legitimate wants and few legitimate fears, does happiness look like? If I stop to know my own happiness, maybe I’ll be more inclined to find ways to help everyone get their share.

(The illustration was finger-drawn on my ipad, using the Sketchbook app.)

 

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