Carl Munson's online, multimedia documentary about human happiness. Part blog, possible book and self-indulgent autobiography.
October 11th, 2018
On October 11th, 2018, I made a profound decision: I decided to never have another bad mood. It was a good day. October 10th wasn't a good day. But it was a turning point.
The work is dedicated, along with my sincere apologies, to anyone and everyone whose life I have polluted with my bad moods and unhappiness. Among them my parents, partners and children; colleagues, passers-by and indeed you, if I’ve ever released the metaphorical ‘fart of doom’ in your company.
Yet Another Blog & Book About Happiness?
Where it all began!
Yes, in one sense. Yet a unique view in memoir and journal form that shares the ups, downs and insights from my life-long enquiry into what makes people tick.
My story begins, of course, as a child - curious as to why my own parents would be so troubled by their experience of life and living. Born into tension, I’m told - a father seeking intimacy and sexual fulfilment beyond the family home; and a mother whose intentions to leave him thwarted by my arrival - I soon needed to make sense of this atmosphere of pain and frustration.
Seems I picked up the ‘Christ Messiah’ archetype as my survival strategy, making myself special and misunderstood; ‘above’ the players in the drama that surrounded me, with great intentions to show them the way, even save them, once my little body had grown big enough.
I remember my mother in tears. I recall my father as distant and absent. I once sat on my mother’s lap as she wept. Tears that rarely wet her proud and beautiful face. And in that moment - a little lad, around five years of age, maybe younger - I swore I would rescue her from this sorry fate. The beginnings too of my deep suspicion, even hatred, of men - including myself - that I’ll go into later.
As I write in this 53 year-old body, it’s fair to say my urge to be recognised as saviour and way-shower hasn’t yet really materialised. Certainly not in any biblical way, with my parents and others gratefully falling at my feet in appreciation. This book may of course bring that adulation, so I live in hope and delusion.
As for my parents, they didn’t stay together, despite trying for a further five or so years with changes of occupation and location. But they did continue to help me form my aloof story and form my persistent question: “Why was it so difficult to be happy?”
This was my way of surviving. Making myself right and safe. They were mad. I was special. A worldview that, like my quest to understand why grown-ups couldn’t be happy, has also persisted - for better and for worse. It was an early sign of arrogance, a ‘quality’ that I’ve not managed to free myself from. But it was also a heart-felt urge; my ultimate and driving question. Surely the most important question we can ask ourselves?
A question that has now evolved into the sub-text of this work: “Why don’t people want to be happy?”
‘They’ didn’t seem to want to be happy back then, in the formative days of my five year-old self. And, casting a glance around the world today of all other grown-ups, in this ageing body, perhaps half-way through its life, it seems ‘they’ - all of them - still don’t want to be happy. There’s always something: a drama, a depression, a distraction from the state of freedom, joy and happiness that a young child can see and experience.
Why is this? Stay in touch and we’ll look at this question together…