Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happiness and Moments of Pleasure

As difficult as it sometimes can be, identifying, noting, and remembering moments of happiness and pleasure in our lives is of great importance. Over the years, I've found that documenting such moments helps. How many sunrises or sunsets have you watched whose beauty astounded you, which filled you with moments of peace and happiness you thought you would always remember? How many do you actually remember? When I had money to afford a decent camera and pursue my photographic interests, I took occasional pictures of sunsets. Finding them 20 some years later (how have so many years passed?) I stare at them blankly for a moment, and wonder why I took that particular picture? Was it the sunset, was I there with someone 'special', was I experimenting with low light photography? Here's an example - I took this at the beach in Provincetown, MA in October of 1989 (really, can it really be so long ago? Did I really take it in September and just didn't get it developed until October?). I should also note that my scanner seems to have a bad case of dust that won't dust off of the glass plate. I suppose I shall have to take it apart and clean the underside.

Text can capture such moments to preserve as well. Thus it is that I must note that yesterday, upon returning to my little hovel after my less than rewarding and almost completely energy debilitating employment of 10am to 6pm, I found that my new coffee maker had arrived. It took a couple of hours before I had a moment to open the package. I had guessed right - its coffee grounds receptacle was a cone, not a basket. I smiled that little happiness smile.

This morning (work today is noon to 8pm) I am happily in the process of cleaning it for its first use. The instruction manual which came with it offers specific instructions for this process. It suggests two full "brews" using just water to clean out the system. The instructions further tell me to "see 'Brewing Instructions' on p. 7." There is no page 7. Actually, there is a page 7 if one continues into the instructions in Spanish and turns the booklet upside down in order to read them. And my gosh, the 'Brewing Instructions" are there as "Instrucciones De Uso". In case you are wondering, the English version of those instructions are right under the "Before You Use Your Coffeemaker" section on the first page of text. By the way, the English instructions note that after brewing the first cup of water, one should turn off the machine and let it cool for 10 minutes. In the Spanish version, it notes that one should let the machine cool for 15 minutes. I guess time is different in Spanish speaking countries. Which could, of course, be a sort of proof for Einstein's theory that time is relative.

Time with the internet is relative, too. I started this post early this morning. I should have started it last night (I was too tired after I got home from work) and wished austanspace a Happy Birthday. While constructing it, I've done a few hours of work on stuff for the radio station, and finally had that first cup of coffee from the new machine. It's good. Not quite as good as the old machine with the built up years of coffee residue in the reusable and washable filter, but it's good. And I smile. Then I notice the time and how late I am to start getting ready for work and I panic...


Austan said...

Happy and/or peaceful moments are fleeting and we should try to grab some bit of them to remember. It seems much too easy to recall the pains and horrors of life, while joys and pleasures fade too fast. "Preserve your memories; they're all that's left you."

sdt said...

Good God, I had forgotten that song. Thanks for reminding me of it, fellow "bookend".