I was thinking a lot about this article as I was walking.
But the truth is that the longer I have lived, and the shorter my future, the less pursuing I have done. Some of this may come from a peculiarly Irish positive pessimism — be happy, things will get worse — more of it from the history of disappointment all artists know and the rest from a remnant Catholic guilt that says you don’t deserve happiness anyway. The point is, in my case, happiness seemed a thing that could not be pursued, only realized and chosen.
This is the ending of the article:
“I mean, what do you do to be happy?”
The question was a novelty to him and he considered it from all sides before answering.
“When I want a holiday,” he said at last, “I go over the road as far as the meadow. I go in there, take off my jacket, and lay down on it. I watch the world turning for a bit, with me still in it.”
He smiled then, and held me in his blue Atlantic eyes, full of the ordinary wisdom of a well-lived life, a wisdom that saw the many failings of the world but our still breathing and dreaming in it, and with a conclusive nod that defeated all arguments said, “That’s happiness.”