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Marble Surface

Being Profoundly Simple

"So," I said, finally catching up with her, "what do you do when you're happy?"

Her rapid speed of walking had me on the edge of my comfort zone, and I wasn't sure that was the case my heart was beating faster than usual. Not knowing if it was a good question, I decided to give it a couple of seconds.

"What kind of a question is that?" she asked.

"It's a straightforward one," I replied defensively, as I finally began walking toe to toe with her. She seemed to ponder for a second, and then apparently decided to shrug any thought off.

"I've never been asked that before."

"Well, I take pride in that, being the first guy to ask you that!"

"Honestly, I've never thought about it."

"Really? Like, for example, me, I hum music when I'm happy," I said definitively. "And when I'm really happy," I continued, "I put on my headphones, pull the curtains in my room and dance."

"Oh yeah, I like to dance too!"

I was, once upon a time, obsessed with the more difficult questions in life. The deeper philosophies, the underhanded subtleties of events, the murky linkage of deeds - that kind of stuff. I was more concerned with theories and concepts which were complex in nature, maybe subconsciously pointing at myself with a board saying, "look at me! I'm smart!"

It wasn't until life threw me off, and I was surrounded with complexities of varying degrees, that I stopped thinking about them. When I realised that I have to navigate the seas of difficulties by myself, and all I had were outside companions who may just accompany me to the gate of the labyrinth, I felt like surrendering. All I had known, all I had penned, everything that was ingrained in me felt useless, and I felt like I was outside my own mind, bereft of my body; clutching my heart in wringing despair.

It was then, something hit me. It was late for it to strike - I still think I should not have suffered as much as I did before realising it. But nevertheless, I understood in probably the slowest learning curve of my life, that things are meant to be simple.

It's all about the questions you ask. Earlier, I used to ask, 'what is happiness?' It took me sixty thousand words, two books, and an entire struggle with myself to change my perspective to 'what do you do when you're happy?' I am beyond questioning abstract terms now. I have chosen to accept them as they are, and I have come closer to believing in their vague beauty, within their layers, subtleties and linkages. Now that I reflect on it, I was yo-yoing a little in my older work, recommending simplicity in not the most simple ways. As I peeled off my own layers, discovered my own subtleties in my behaviour and understood my linkages with things and people around me, I moved to become a much more simpler guy.

I no longer choose to analyse the grey areas in life - I accept that things aren't a dichotomy, and I also accept the shades of grey. I no longer seek to break down things into their smallest pieces to understand them, I now either understand them right away, or wait till I am ready to understand them. That probably is the difference between writing at 18 and writing at 25, and I pray my thoughts will change for the better as I age, hopefully gracefully.

"It is the simplest of talks that are the most important," I said to a close friend. He nodded, and shook my hand. He had become one of my best friends in the time I have been here, and a lot of my zooming progress towards my pen is down to him.

Simplicity: the art of being as to the point and concise as possible. I guess that is what is understood as profundity, but somewhere in that transition, simplicity loses its charm. Simplicity is simplicity, and profundity can be complex. For me, profundity is intense, and simplicity isn't all that from the off. Profundity is finding happiness and meaning in the rhythmic movement of the sea waves, and happiness is merely enjoying the view with someone. The difference? Profundity is a burden, if not found in time, it can be draining. Simplicity on the other hand, is bestowed with acceptance, and thus, allows you to enjoy things the way they are.

You need to survive profundity to get onto simplicity, methinks. I hope your journey to that is not similar to mine, and is easier, less painful and quicker. And maybe the journey further ahead is of being profoundly simple.

That being said, tell me;

"What do you do when you're happy?"


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