This blue marble

– and yet it spins

Happiness

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Crete-9The light in the Mediterranean is unique. In contrast to many tropical landscapes where sunlight blends with humidity or dust into a soft haze, the Mediterranean sky is as neverending blue as the sea. There is sharp contrast between the rugged rocks and the fluffy green pines, and the white houses and the pink oleanders. Yet what draws painters and dreamers is the blazing sunlight that bounces off every surface, enveloping every object and surface in a soft gleam like watching the world through a camera obscura.

Crete-6Lapping up the mid-morning sunlight I thought of the painters and dreamers who came to the Mediterranean to seek happiness. I thought of the Greek who seem to live longer than most people, allegedly due to olive oil, yoghurt, and happiness. I thought of people who change professions, relationships, and countries in pursuit of happiness without ever searching inside themselves first. And I asked myself whether happiness really can be found by rearranging the external factors in our lives? By attaching happiness to the environment it will be brought by and whisked away by circumstances beyond our control. Perfect happiness will be followed by equal amount of loss and grief, such is the law of our world.

Before the sun slowed my thought I asked myself if the definition of happiness did not contain a fleeting, temporal component, and perhaps I was better off seeking something else altogether? Maybe leaving the shoes by the door and stepping inside would be a good first move?

Crete-4(Agios Pavlos, Crete, Greece; August 2014)

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