June 14, 2014 10:50:22 PM
This week, Chris and I attended a party celebrating the marriage of our dear friends, Meagan and Clare. They had a romantic destination wedding, saying their vows under a vine-covered gazebo in New York's Central Park.
The reception, in a stunning Starkville home, was a gathering of friends and well-wishers in our area who did not travel to The Big Apple. Many of us "attended" the New York ceremony via Facebook photos. Everyone looked so enormously happy in those pics.
That joy was still evident Saturday evening. Although Chris and I knew almost no one at the Starkville celebration, we felt embraced in an atmosphere of love from everyone.
We met people who we instantly knew would become a part of our lives. My favorite new friend is a delightful lady named Dottie, with sparkling, azure eyes. She teaches a class on healing touch at The W, which I had wanted to take, but too late -- the class was filled as soon as it was announced.
I think this party felt so great because it was given for a happy reason. So often, people don't come together until there is a funeral, or an illness, or some other sort of heartbreaking happening.
The rest of the week was a jolting emotional crash. We learned of the death of Joe Higginbotham, only four months after loosing his amazing wife, travel writer, Sylvia. What a loss for our community.
The news has been filled with more shootings at schools -- 74 since the Newtown tragedy, just 18 months ago (Huffington Post, June 10, 2014). (No, guys, this is not another anti-gun column.)
And, less significantly, our car is still not working. Cross your fingers on that one. There are overwhelming reasons to feel depressed.
On another note, you may have noticed that every possible means of communication is overflowing with homemade videos with Pharrell Williams' song "Happy" playing in the background. I have seen dogs (along with one cat) romping in the surf, Detroit school children, cartoon characters and people in Third World countries, all dancing to this bouncy melody. The song actually seems to have magical properties.
In case you have been on another planet, some of the lyrics are, "Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth, because I'm happy, clap along if you know what happiness is to you." Of course, it's just not the same without the music.
This raises the question, "Do you know what happiness is to you?" My list is quite long. Some entries would be love for my four-legged children, the moon, red wine and, most importantly, my wonderful husband. I suggest that everyone make their own inventory of attitude-elevating thoughts.
Pharrell Williams sings, "Here come bad news ... give me all you got, and don't hold back. I should probably warn you I'll be just fine ... don't waste your time." His optimism is contagious and therapeutic. "Happy" is sort of like an analgesic -- temporarily effective, but it eventually wears off.
Maybe The W will re-open Dottie's class on healing touch. I need a bit of healing for my psyche. Until then, I will view any version of the "Happy" song on YouTube. That should work for a while.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.