Sunday, August 07, 2011


It’s a good week to be writing about happiness—a good week to be feeling it too. There is some happy news. Rachel says she’ll soon be back at work—back from a journey that started in the spring and consumed much of the summer.
Happiness is a complicated condition—layered and nuanced—not so simple as happy versus sad. I was happy while she was gone. I was contented. I had hope. Days were pleasant. Still, something I valued was noticeable by its absence.
The absent thing—the thing that took a rest with Rachel’s leaving, was the glee—that quality described by Anne Giardini as “hopped-up happiness”. Glee takes hold of you. Transports you. It sets you down in a place you had no idea you were about to visit. Glee surprises you. Glee, in my case, is the edge of happiness that announces itself in the sudden entry of a giggler upon a scene that seemed to be benign a moment before. The giggler is irrational, irreverent, often irrelevant. She lies in wait, waiting to burst out, somewhere behind the eyes, ready for a call, a challenge, an invitation. In my reactionary world of relationship chemistry, Rachel is an artist in the medium of giggler invitation.
I have missed the giggler in me—missed having her pop out in the early morning, at lunch, during the most serious of discussions. I have missed Rachel too. So I am looking forward to seeing more of them both, Rachel and the giggler, looking forward, among other things, to an increase in the number of moments of glee.

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