13 December 2011

December 13, 2011

It’s strange how the same things that make some people happy at Christmas make other people sad. Maybe there are no happy or sad things at all, only happy or sad people. I doubt we’re even the sum of our emotions; we’re just whatever we decide to be at a particular moment.

What if someone were to be happy in their misery? Why would that be different than any other sort of happiness? But, someone might say, That’s not true happiness. As if they could know such a thing. And not that I would understand that kind of happiness either, but I would understand my ignorance of it. Maybe some people need to be sad for awhile, just to find the edges of it.

I’ve been thinking about how you can’t travel a negative distance. Every movement is forward. Maybe the destination shifts or changes or vanishes over time, but the motion is still the same, and I think the motion is where we find our sense of morality. (It was optimism that lead me here in the first place.)

I am a happy man who dabbles in sadness. I am a tourist of it, a student. But I think it would be selfish of me to actually be sad; I’ve been given too much. To be sad would just be unobservant.

And one more thing about Blue Valentine: The director said he didn’t want to make a movie with a message. He just wanted to make a movie that felt honest. But maybe that was the message, the honesty. The way a flower teaches us something just by being beautiful. I can’t imagine thinking I had anything to teach anyone. Maybe when I’m 60, but not now, not at 24. My only contribution to the world, I think, is to look around.

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