I often go back and re-read old posts, particularly when I discover that someone else has read them. It is amazing to me how differently I perceive things from when I actually wrote the post. As you write, squeezing huge, boulder-sized portions of hot, magma-like burning ideas and passions out through writing orifices not nearly big enough to accommodate, you usually hate what you wrote and are still writhing in pain from the creation of it as you try to edit it, trim it and brush its unruly hair. (How’s that for a mixed metaphor to make you cringe?) But given time and distance, you can really appreciate what you wrote more than ever before. Things that you thought were the stupidest idea a man ever put in words suddenly have the power to make you laugh, or make you cry. You are able to feel the things the writing was intended to make you feel. You begin to think things like, “Maybe you are not the worst writer that ever lived, and maybe that’s not why nobody ever reads your books.” But then, of course, your sister reads the post and tells you that you write like a really old, really crabby, really ancient old man. And you use the word “really” too much too. I know I deserve that, Sis. Especially the “really” part.
This is the thing about happiness; It is elusive and rare as a real-life blue bird. But capturing it for a moment is not impossible. And as long as you don’t try to salt its tail and keep it prisoner, you can encourage it to sing for you. (Much better metaphor this time, don’t you think?)
When I am accused of being gloomy, old, and boring, I can happily admit it and make it into something funny. I am something of a conspiracy nut, but not so serious that I believe all my own assertions. For those people who took offense at this conspiracy theory of mine; Coca-Cola Mind Control, I would like to point out that “Hey, I was joking. I actually like clowns.” Even though there is a serious side to everything and there can’t be laughter without some tears, I am basically happy with the way things are.
I started listening to “Live Happy Radio” on Sunday mornings on KLUV in Dallas. They point out on their program of endlessly droning happy-talk that happiness is something that you can work at. Like humor writing in blogs, it takes practice and practice and time. They even asked me to share the word about their happy magazine and products, so I am doing exactly that right here. Sometimes you simply have to put your cynicism in a jar on the shelf next to the lock box where you keep depression and self-loathing. So you can find their Live-Happy folderol right here.
So I am bird-watching again with an eye out for the bluebird. You know the one. It is out there somewhere. And I need to hear that song one more time.