Last night I lay awake thinking

That feeling sad isn’t so bad. For one thing you don’t have to ever feel scared that something will happen to take away your happiness. You can live without that fear and you can go ahead and imagine the worst because, according to you, you are probably not that far from the worst anyway. Happiness is fragile: this has to be something everyone knows. It takes far more work to keep, and as you get older it takes even more work to keep you at the same level of happy. When I was twenty a roller-coaster ride did it or a soup-in-a-bread-bowl at Au Bon Pain or an orange cream smoothie or my first plane ride but now a four-thousand square foot house does not make me happy , let alone a warm summer day, an unexpectedly efficient subway ride, or buds opening into flowers bigger than I could ever have imagined. But sadness, or any other feeling for that matter, is most useful when it is not deep inside you, a part of you.   Feelings should be like a drink you are sipping. You roll a mouthful of the feeling around your mouth, get to know its strength and flavor and intentions but you don’t swallow it. That is, you keep it outside you and not inside.  Only then can you come up with grand theses about feelings, like this one.  All this said,  I don’t believe I have been tested with enough sadness to speak about it.  If it is true I have not been so tested, I don’t know whether  this is because I have never been in situations of true sorrow or if I have been in such situations but was too insensitive to feel it.

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