Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Just a thought before I sleep

There is this (famous) black and white footage of Marylin Monroe arriving late to sing for President Kennedy at his birthday gala. Marylin was known to be late almost all the time. She was wearing this shimmering silk dress that fell freely over her slender body. She trotted hurriedly in these fine heels along the stage. The gentleman who presented her helped her out of her fur wrap and left her alone. She tapped the microphone and then adjusted it towards her.

There was a sudden moment of silence. It was Marylin standing there: a goddess from another world, her hair like carved marble, looking like a doll. She had everything a woman could possibly dream of. And then music started playing in the background as Marylin stunned the crowd with her singing, it was like a whisper, trembling, almost breathless. And all that time, she wore that smile of hers. She seemed happy. Only, she was far from it...

I had just happened on this footage of Marylin and her smile confused me. It seemed like she was the happiest woman on earth, but the truth almost always lies beneath the surface. We are all not very different from Marylin. We wear a smile only to hide so much sorrow. Marylin was indeed very unhappy. At least in all that I have read about her. I think it must have been easier for her to be unhappy. If only she had allowed herself to be happier.

This seems all too idealistic, the notion that we could will ourselves to be happier versions of ourselves. To learn to be happy. Or even to unlearn to be unhappy. To a certain level, yes we can. We find livelihood from the beauty that is around us, from the natural world, from a tender touch, from the love of our friends, from the arts, from reading, from music, from solitude, from late afternoon walks, from the mundane.

Such is happiness.

1 comment:

marooned84 said...

Those who can are lucky and definitely worth their happiness.