What, me worry?
I know two persons in this entire country, literally. One is a friend and the other is a sibling on the other side of the continent. In addition, two more people on my cellphone’s contact-list are really acquaintances with whom I have verbal speech once every 12 weeks or a dozen fortnights, whichever is less. When I left the mother-ship to beam up to Planet Canada, I had bid farewell to all my half-a-dozen friends and relatives there as well, for good. A couple of them I speak to once every six months. But that’s another story.
Add to that my being ‘on the beach‘ (a self-esteem term to describe being unemployed.) I hope there’s a pattern emerging here. You see, sometimes I sing aloud in the shower just to make sure I still have the ability to produce voice.
All of these people are rightfully, justifiably worried about the global economic fallout from the financial crisis that is sweeping North America and other parts of the world, in ways we have not seen in our lifetimes.
There’s a fifth person with whom I have a regular monthly exchange of ideas — my barber. He has now started to infuse his monologues with frequent mentions of ‘recession’, ‘depression’, ‘financial crisis’, ‘bailouts’ and other assorted doom and gloom from the glossary of a world coming to an end shortly.
As blogged earlier, I should really be the one, as opposed to all of the above, to put Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings on repeat and eventually do myself in (something which I have not ruled out entirely.)
When you smoke and stare out to the vast sprawl of the city from your balcony, surely the state of mind leaves you a wee bit cynical (hence I’ve disclosed the reason behind my pseudonym today — and I duly apologize.) The breath that is pulled out of your lungs with each exhaled puff is similar to the passion, motivation and energy that has been pulled away from you during these years.
And yet, it is against this backdrop, I think, that I have discovered an insight into one of the greatest mysteries of life (for me, at least, and for the writers of the United States Declaration of Independence): The pursuit of happiness. My discovery? The answer, dear reader, is not exactly blowing in the wind, but is hidden in the very phrase. It is always a pursuit. Happiness is actually the continuous pursuit of happiness itself.
Which begs the question, what on earth is the point I’m trying to make?
I salute Alfred E. Neuman, who I never was.
First Published: February 1st, 2009