Happiness Is A Rainbow

Sunday, December 08, 2019

What was your last great adventure?

Can you recall the fond connections you made along the way? Or the adventurous euphoria that surged in your heart as you discovered a new country with its unknown chasms and landscapes colouring themselves before you around every corner like a dream?

But just like that you're back home now with only a scattered photo series on your phone. Do you remember exactly what it felt like in your heart when you returned home again with your trusty suitcase - just you, in grey silence, in your room.

Less than 24 hours ago you were an adventurer living some nomadic utopian fantasy in a parallel dream universe, but just like that you are back in your default world.

If you have felt as described then I'm sorry to say your online diagnosis is rather grave. You have symptoms of a 21st century epidemic, Eternal Traveler's Syndrome: a lingering state of melancholy founded on a fear of missing out because one always feels like they're meant to be living a better life somewhere else.

Don't worry. I've caught it too.

Like an on-and-off relationship with myself I traveled abroad once a month over the past two years. Traveling each time felt like I had somehow kindled a romance with myself, and coming home felt like a break up. You know that feeling when you miss someone, it's like that except you're missing another self.

So that was the breakup ... but let's cue the real heartbreak. Not the romantic kind of heartbreak, well mostly, but the kind of heartbreak that ran deeper into my soul. Over the past few years, I have swirled myself into a vain and hedonistic spiral that should have hit its apex in New York this past July. New York had all the tokens of the trip of my lifetime, but I had the worst time of my life. I could feel my heart, body and soul age more in that one week than I had in my entire life.

New York was the kind of heartbreak where people I put my love and trust in became people I learned I needed to purify out of my spirit. The kind of heartbreak where my lifestyle and who I was at heart were diverging so much that it felt like I was being ripped in half.

And after it was all said and done I really felt the full burn of self-hatred because I'm one of those people that has to experience things imploding in on themselves before that instinct one knows is right from the beginning actually feels real.

Returning home, I didn't want to do anything, or see anybody and for once I didn't plan my next trip. When my friends did see me they told me the light I usually had was gone. They could see it in my face. They told me I looked wearied and aged. Funny how it's so physical visible when the soul breaks.

Three months ... then another day no different from the last. Laying on the floor of my house in The Hills staring up at the ceiling again. I could feel myself with no desire for the next thing. In fact I had absolutely no desire for anything at all. Was I supremely depressed? I couldn't even come to that conclusion ...

Stillness. Quietness. Nothing.

In silence, immobility and with no desire, I found something I wasn't expecting. Breathing in, the air felt wholly fresh, clean and young, and as the oxygen fused through my body I appreciated like I had never before how by design my body married the natural world in such a way. I lavished the secure sensation of my head finding rest against the carpet floor, with the homely pull of gravity securing the skin of my face. I wondered on the capability of being the master of my body. How wondrous, whole and captivating such feelings that should be so familiar?

It was right there I found something that I can't really quantify with words.

They say if you can enjoy the presence of a flower, or even a breeze, or just even your own breath, then all the world could be yours.

飲酒 (Drinking Wine)

... A distant heart will tend towards distance places.
From the eastern hedge, I pluck chrysanthemums
And idly gaze towards the southern hills.
The air is beautiful day and night,
The birds fly back to roost with one another.
I know that this must have some deeper meaning,
I try to explain, but cannot find the words.

by 陶淵明 (Tao Yuanming)

Happiness is warped reflections by the W Taipei pool on pride weekend. Happiness is a quiet Sunday afternoon at home. Happiness is a rainbow, it escapes from the blue into daylight. Happiness just is. Thank you God for teaching me with just a breath. I could have never found this on my own. God bless.

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  1. I saw you at pride!

  2. What happened in New York?

    1. In the past I loved New York. The fast paced-ness. The craziness, the scale, the drama and the culture. Perhaps I am different now. It doesn't match my soul. I feel like I am more of an introverted and quiet soul than I was years ago when I first arrived in New York. Coming back this time really hurt.

    2. It is good to read your words. I must go and think about this. You speak from your heart. There is a whole other life beyond the parties. It is always good to see you Jono Kwan.

    3. Parties are great too but in moderation and I think as we age into real adulthood, other things become more exciting

  3. Sounds like you learned to enjoy the moment.


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