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So, one day, I decided to be happy. (5)



I realize that my desire to write about happiness ends up as a little intimate philosophical story full of sadness… But well, these two twin brothers are like light and darkness, and “chiaroscuro” is one of my favorite style.

So, the stage is finally set. A young man, having everything to be happy, but lost in a sticky, smelly, dark swamp of vague despair and deep nihilism. The social and relational handicap that constitute this contagious cloud of darkness was dragging me downer and downer in a dangerous vicious circle.

I really don’t remember which day it was… I am very bad with dates, but also there was no particular event that led me to deciding that the situation had lasted long enough. Mainly I got fed up. Single for too long, painting sad abstract ultra complex monochromatic labyrinths, smoking too much, letting my flat turn to a giant garbage can…

I don’t remember the date, also because I did not expect it would work, just deciding to be happy…

No, that’s not exactly true. The general idea is correct but, Now that I make the effort to bring this moment back to my memory, two turning points however come to my mind. The first one is obvious, I think I took the decision to be happy somewhere in the beginning of year 2000. Afterwards, I have to suppose that the unconscious effect of the big millenium turn must have been some kind of incentive for a positive change. I did not make a 1st of January new year/century/millenium resolution to be happy. It came later, maybe end of March of beginning of April, first days of Spring, another symbolic time, propitious for change. Or am I reconstructing the whole thing in a Baudelaire-like forest of “correspondances”? Doesn’t matter, date accuracy is irrelevant, and any story is always a tale.

So, center Paris, first days of Spring 2000… Difficult to imagine a more romantic time and place for a new story or a fresh start (that’s why I suspect myself of idealised reinvention). I remember a nice day, still cool from the winter’s tail, but clear, sunny. One of these perfect first days of spring that inspire the lucky ones to go out for a walk, and tortures the others stuck in their greyish workplace. My work was being an artist painter… so I went for a walk.

The second turning point happened during this walk. It was as tiny as the new millenium was huge, but had on me a massive eyes opening effect.

I went out on this perfect day, not really to enjoy the sun, but rather to go buy some drawing material without the risk of the rain spoiling the expensive paper pad. Some 200 meters from my place, in the beginning of the Rue de Turennes, almost at the corner with the Rue Saint Antoine, carrying my habitual gloomy mood, I noticed a dead pigeon lying in the gutter, next to the sidewalk.

This dead pigeon, quite ugly, half rotten, literally changed my life…

It happened in two steps.

At first, the sight of this dead bird had a tremendous impact on me. It stroke me and ruined my day, as if this cadaver had been placed there only for me to stumble upon it, as a powerful stinking image intended to epitomize my life. I have a very cartesian mind and I have never believed in the magic of signs or any superior will sending me clues or sarcasms from above… If not this dead pigeon, something else would probably, sooner or later, have triggered the same process. I feel that every depressed person has his whole bunch of dead pigeons, these silly paltry details that suddenly makes you overreact, and crumble as if you had just learned the most dramatic life crushing news.

My whole day has been haunted by the dead pigeon. Then my night has been filled with rotten birds themed nightmares. Then I woke up. At first there was this uncertain moment, when you, at the same time, gladly understand that it was only a dream, and immediately moderate this positive feeling by mesuring how disturbed you must be, for generating such nightmares.

Then came the MOMENT OF CLARITY:

“You stupid bastard are the only cause of the problem. You basically created the dead pigeon! Yesterday was a beautiful nascent spring day, and you were looking at the ground. Would you have walked head up, enjoying the warm light of this sunny sky, that there simply wouldn’t have been any dead pigeon in your dreams…”


From → Happiness, Philosophy

  1. Honest thoughts, clear words, taking us into your mind. Big cheers for you, you can turn around your thoughts and your being. The power is in you, not any where else. Looking forward to more posts, eagerly.

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