The image shows a piece of artwork by Jina Wallwork. It is a digital painting of abstract subject matter. Stylistically this piece of artwork has links with abstract art.

Happiness by Jina Wallwork


What does happiness look like? I imagine it to be filled with colors and shapes. Happiness would move in every direction. Filled with nervous excitement it would drift beyond the edges of any canvas. The search for happiness is filled with disappointment because it’s a fool’s endeavor that is focused on a transient high. When I question the essence of happiness I consider those small moments that appear to be greater than the experiences that came before. We experience a moment of bliss that can’t be sustained. Happiness is only possible if each moment overshadows the last because this temporary joy exists in the movement towards a greater pleasure. Once an experience becomes normality it tends to lead to more complex emotions.

Why would someone want every moment to be greater than the last? We would lose out on other experiences that nurture us in more profound ways. There are moments that wouldn’t suit the label of ‘happiness’, yet they have a value that is stronger than a moment of accelerated joy. I was caring for an elderly relative in the final stages of her life, and when it came closer to the end she thanked me for all I had done. That moment can’t be described as joyful, yet it is a moment of depth and connection, a profound experience that will shape my understanding of who I am and how I connect to the people around me. Happiness can be superficial, unfaithfully drifting from one place to another. Happiness isn’t the only experience of value, and to judge the importance of something by such narrow parameters would be a mistake. An experience can be filled with sorrow, yet seem more valuable than a moment of joy.


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