Can you hear happy? I think listening is one of the secrets, if there are any at all. Consider the telephone, an object that doesn’t really emote happiness. At first, people were dazzled by the telephone; they didn’t cease to admire its crackles and static and murkiness because everything about it was remarkable.
But telephone-appreciation depleted quickly, when the first blip happened. Those same crackles that sounded like joy sounded like fail, and happiness went drifting away. There is a moment when marvels — telephones, televisions, phonographs, films, cameras, ecommerce — turn into ordinary objects and services and we stop hearing the happy. After a while we forget to listen. A calisthenics of joy on the ordinary is necessary to be able to hear.
I’m not certain how long happy is, and, now that I think about it, I’m happy not to know. That’s part of the joy, in fact. The not knowing. It’s a common question, “How long will this happiness last?” we wonder, then forget when it just keeps going.
We used to make these crayons mashups as kids. They were combos of all our favorite crayons in the box. Choose a couple of favorite Crayolas, bake them together in a tin, let them cool, and you had a super-giant-crayon combo of favorites. You could draw with that thing for what seemed like forever.
I think the length of happy is sort of like that crayon: you get to color only with your favorites with no end in sight. If you knew when it would end, you would stop drawing. Since you have only color and paper and tomorrow, you keep on sketching. Happy.