Casting an eye toward Happiness

A good number of us consciously interconnected bloggers are, thanks to Momalon, focusing today and tomorrow on the theme of happiness.

And while I’m as likely as not to be reading Jung’s Red Book or some fairly obscure tome on art and shamans, I’m pretty bad at reading social cues—at mapping the “real” world (maybe because I’m so busy running around on that other side of the looking glass, communing with the surreal world in which I seem to live).  In any event it was Monday evening and I was multi-tasking away—cooking diner, and reading some of my fave bloggers when I found my way to Momalon’s “five for ten” challenge and finally realized what it actually was.  I had visited Momalon fairly often in the past, but when bloggers I respected announced that they were doing “five for ten,” I somehow assumed that it was invitation only—and since I had not been officially invited I never thought to crash the party; once I ventured there, however, I realized that it was a very welcoming thing, this five for ten.  I immediately knew that I wanted to participate, only while other bloggers had been thinking about the previously announced themes for ten days, I had just gotten wind of the themes on the very day that it had already started.

Late to the party, late blooming, slightly clueless in the world… story of my life.

But as I went happily running with scissors from garden to kitchen to computer—picking fresh sprigs of rosemary to put under the salmon on the grill, tumbling my composting bin and pausing to watch Andy play bocce with Nate and Will in the lovely light of a descending May evening, I realized that I was simply happy.  I got my trusty camera and snapped a few pics to capture my happy moment, knowing that the universe had just handed me my five-for-ten on happiness, appreciating that I didn’t have to rack my brain or go searching into the depths of my soul.  I felt blessed.  I felt affirmed that I could participate in the group.

After savoring dinner, taking the evening walk with Andy and Agnes and multi-tasking between the Lakers (winning against the Jazz) and getting Nate and Andy’s input on which pictures they liked of the bocce, I settled down at the kitchen “island” where I like to write (no man is an island, but this man writes on one) and began to craft this post on happiness… where I was gripped by uncertainty:  maybe I shouldn’t publicly admit that I’m happy because bad things might come of it.

I had a recent conversation with a client about “the evil eye” and “Keyn aynhoreh!”  (Yiddish for “No evil eye!), respectively Mediterranean and Jewish superstitions about protecting oneself from evil, particularly that of envy—the importance of not saying kids are beautiful, that life is great).  I’m not sure that I would call myself superstitious, but I would say that I strongly believe in the irrational, in synchronicities and in some sort of forces bigger than us influencing the things of which we are aware.

I went to sleep and had a terribly restless night.  At one point I dreamt of a Shadow figure (rather DeNiro in Taxi Driver) threatening Nate and me.  We ran away, and were going to seek refuge in the Unitarian Church when I woke up.  I realized that I had referenced myself as something of the “taxi driver” in my Mother’s Day post—and thus my marginalized, potentially destructive, alienated but with a certain sort of point self needed to be reckoned with.  So, I shut my eyes and marched back into my dream and tried to talk to that guy:  “Are you talking to me?  There’s no one else here, so you must be talking to me.”

Maybe the magic charm that will help ward off the evil eye will prove to be the consciousness that we are all happy and unhappy (that inside and outside, we are a unity of opposites).  I feel like I’ve paid some unhappiness dues in my time, but I must recognize that Taxi Driver guy in his pick-up truck, ready to get to work, is trying to help me own my power, trying to help me participate in the actual world; he is that misunderstood part of me that loves hard and may appear a bit odd to “normal” people, yet if I manage to love and recognize him, he’s no longer dangerous the way he once was (he had to kick my ass until I wised up, it was never personal, it was collective).

Now in this corner of internet community, I find a particular sort of group and it really inspires me to believe that I can be as I am, in my truth, and still belong.  People in this particular neck of the blogging woods have been exceedingly kind, authentic and responsive with me and with each other.  This gives me great happiness and hope for us humans.  Besides the evil eye, one can also cast the “good eye”—an attitude of wishing well for others—and I think that seems to be going around in this community.

So since today’s theme is happiness, I particularly want to consciously wish happiness for all those who care about our world and its collective children, and I also want to wish happiness and respectful recognition for those who may be blocked from happiness at the moment, those impaired in caring, those who carry the burden in our group of alienation, illness, addiction, shame, sorrow, anxiety, depression and loss.  I know that we can all relate—there but for the grace of X go any one of us.

So, if you have a little extra happiness, throw it in the virtual pot that Momalon has inspired, but which we all co-create this week (and which materializes once more whenever you happen across these words)… and if you happen to need a little extra happiness at present, take what you desire and know that this group of readers and writers has put a lot of love on the table and offer it with little more than the hope that you will be able to feel it, that you might use it wisely, and that you might trust that we are all in this together.

Namaste, Bruce


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16 Responses to “Casting an eye toward Happiness”

  1. Beth K Says:

    My comments don’t specifically relate to today’s post.
    The day after you got trapped on Coldwater Canyon and missed an appointment, I got trapped in my garage (by a garage door that wouldn’t budge) and missed an appointment. Interesting.
    My sister-in-law posted a funny Facebook status today. The song “Material Girl” was playing, and my nephew Owen said, “Who is this Cheerio Girl?”

  2. Amber Says:

    Oh, Bruce, this is perfect. A wonderful end to such an awesome day of reading happiness posts.

    The picture of your wife and children playing that game (that I will have to google later) is marvelous and very inspiring. Your dream. Everything tying into past posts of yours. I am so happy that you have joined Five for Ten.

    P.S. Even though you cheered the Lakers on over my Jazz, I still like this post. ; )

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Hi Amber, thanks for that—and sorry about the Jazz. I guess this is the kind of kind space where we can overcome such differences and be good sports—rooting for our teams, but for our group even more. 🙂

  3. Cheryl Says:

    Ah, the “Keyn aynhoreh.” I know it well. My grandfather’s wife used to say that whenever something good would happen. I think it’s important to realize you’re happy when you are.

  4. Kelly Says:

    I am the same way — don’t jinx your happiness by “bragging” about it. But the Momalom sisters have definitely given us all a safe and loving place to share our thoughts and feelings about happiness. I love that it’s inclusive yet diverse. And I have to admit that I swooned a bit reading about your compost. I have a not-so-secret love composting!

  5. Melissa Says:

    What a lovely thought– that we can all share our happiness in a sort of communal pot, available for the giving and taking. Thanks for that. 🙂

  6. Sarah Says:

    This is beautiful. The collective !!! The power of the human give and take, push and pull. I continue to stand in awe of what we have managed to create with Five for Ten. I have never felt as genuinely attached to this blogging community as I have in the past few days. I am exhausted and overwhelmed by the emotion of it all. But the happiness posts have proved to be delightful through and through!


    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Yes there is quite a bit of energy flowing all around—tiring but in a good way. Thanks so much for creating this sort of virtual performance art, community, discussion and channelling of love, compassion and encouragement.

      It is interesting how connecting in this way engages the heart by way of the mind… and the fingers 🙂

  7. Christine LaRocque Says:

    Lovely, heartfelt, thoughtful! So glad you joined up, I’m lagging in reading all the posts, but each one fills me up with joy. And can I say I wish you would come and live with me and teach my husband to do all the things you do. Tonight he’s on deck since I’m working late and so my kids will eat Kraft Dinner. That decidedly does NOT make me happy.

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Oooh, I’m afraid I might have painted myself better than I am. We’ll have to bring Andy and the boys around to straighten things out. I’d probably be better off learning some real-world man-stuff from your guy 🙂 Still, after many late nights working and missing out on the joy of being with the kids, not to mention Saturday clients when soccer, baseball, basketball and various parties were unfolding, I can all too easily relate to the NOT happy moments… but then again, they define and make possible the very concept of happiness.

      Namaste to you AND yours

  8. krk Says:

    Here comes that circle again. Your happiness becomes my happiness, and my
    happiness is transfered to all the other bloggers.
    Namaste krk

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