I like Starbucks.
When I went there for a mocha frappuccino some weeks ago in New York, I found near the cashier this “comment of the day” in perfect “Declaration of Independence” style: Lead yourself into happiness and success. The pursuit of happiness is one of my inalienable rights. It is. I see.
Drinking my mocha frappuccino and eating my maple oat scone I had a short talk with myself:
And did you get what / you wanted from this life, even so? / I did. And what did you want? / To call myself beloved, / to feel myself beloved on the earth.
These are not my words. It’s a little poem, the last poem written by Raymond Carver, in my opinion a great American poet. I am very moved by this poem because it speaks about life, about the meaning of my life, about what I need to be alive. And it does so not in very complicated and long sentences but in simple, poor, minimal words and verses. Our life is very complicated, but the meaning of what happens in our life is very simple.
We need to be cured in what we want from this our life. Sometimes our illness is exactly what we want from our life. A hurt is a break and also is an open expectation of salvation and of redemption. All our hurts could be doors. We need to open our doors.
I remembered some verses written by Emily Dickinson that really struck me the first time I read it and right now, as well:
I heard, as if I had no Ear / Until a Vital Word / Came all the way from Life to me / And then I knew I heard.
Sometimes we are confused and aimless, like sheep without shepherd. Like me, sometimes when I don’t know what I really want from my life. We need a Vital Word.
But no one can reach happiness, just for the experience. I can’t be happy alone, caring only about myself and my own happiness.
Yes, Starbucks! You are right in a sense. But I need to modify your invitation: I need someone to lead me into happiness and success.
Who is he?