Happiness Is

Upon arriving in America for the first time and asked by journalists what she thought the most important thing in life was, Madame De Gaulle said “Happiness”. Now remember, she was French, with a very thick accent, and she would have pronounced the word with a silent H.; so, you can imagine what those journalists thought she was actually answering…

There is a suggestion of the erotic given today’s Sabian Symbol for 22° Aries, The Gate To The Garden of All Fulfilled Desires as it promises to be, in part, a garden of earthly delights. But my sense is that we are speaking of desire on all metaphysical levels, and what is meant by fulfillment here is that which cannot be achieved through an ephemeral brush with pleasure. We are, again, looking at the realm of perpetual Joy. Now, over the course of the last twenty-four hours, Stella and I have been slapped with signposts about Happiness. Suddenly, this simple word is a major theme being taken up by various artistic media and I wouldn’t be surprised to find a story on Happiness as a cultural theme to imminently appear in, say, The New York Times—oh, how that once Gray Lady loves a piece that cites, at the very least, three examples of a theme being culturally explored or exploited in various ways simultaneously. It’s their thing. I would point to a certain TV program premiering on Showtime; a semi-how-to book just launched by a semi-known comedian; and I might point to a certain burgeoning branch of psychology that is Stella’s area of academic expertise. But that’s just me.

Today’s oracle is primarily focused on the Gate to the Garden which we presume is open to us. That being the case it would be open to many if not all of us. And so we equate happiness and fulfillment as being “a place” you get to, not through individual struggle (yesterday’s pugilist comes to mind) but from the perspective of shared abundance. We are not in the wild—it is not a jungle out there. We are in a place that is cared for and cultivated by the collective; and the joy lies in our ability to gather there with others. As someone who doesn’t label himself much of a joiner, I nonetheless recognize that Happiness is Others just as much as Hell can be. It really comes down to casting. I’m also the rarest of the Myers-Briggs personality types, married to the same type, who forms friendships mainly with others of that very type, valuing quality of relationships over quantity. I set the bar very high on friendships, all too easily finding solitude to be a quite enjoyable state of being. I’m incredibly idealistic when it comes to relationships and place great expectations—I’m a pip that way—on what personal bonds should provide. If they should fall short, which most often they do, I’m fine to forgo friendship all together, a willing Rhesus monkey. I’m not saying this is good. It’s just the way I’m wired. The weird thing is that I tend to make incredibly deep and longlasting friendships with others who take a similar view.

Again, I emphasize that we really might just be talking about the Gate and not the Garden itself. There is the suggestion of entree being given, but, you know, it might be like Grammercy Park where you need a key. But the gate itself is a symbol of optimism—what brand of heaven awaits on the other side of it is entirely up to us and the company we keep. Stella and I often say that people are divided into two categories—those who celebrate us and those who tolerate us—and we likewise look upon others one of these two ways, if we had to be honest. My notion of the Garden of All Fulfilled Desires is exactly that: it’s an emotional place or mental space we get to when we have fulfilled our own desires, given ourselves all that we long for or at least fully embraced the longing. We can’t, for instance, give ourselves a Grammy-winning singer-songwriting career; but we can write a song and sing it if we so desire. There really isn’t much we truly desire that we can’t give ourselves. We might not be able to own a mansion, but we can feel rich and abundant and secure in the knowledge that whether we are rich or poor we can only ever live in one room at a time anyway, whether we have a chateau or a studio apartment. Abundance stems from wanting what you have; if you do then you can imagine, and even long for, other experiences you’ve yet to manifest. But what is key to unlocking the Gate to the Garden is the feeling of bounty. We say to clients that “prosperity is a sustained emotion”; it’s up to you how you feel. Whether or not you have a cool mill. doesn’t determine the nature of your feeling.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.



  1. I’ve been reading your blague and I lurve. Writing in because I almost had a heart attack and then laughed out loud… I was very absorbed in the whole discourse about happiness, the durational emotion of gratitude, etc … when at the last sentence I read “cool mill” and was like, O.M.G. OTHER PEOPLE want a mill too? It’s COOL to live in a mill?! QUINN KNOWS that people want to live in mills, and he’s using THAT to make a point about how we don’t necessarily NEED to live in a mill to be happy…??? I’ve never met anyone else who UNDERSTANDS the whole mill thing on so many levels!!!!!

    Then I realized it was cool million and not a cool old mill that you renovate and live in, spending your days overhanging a river and hosting avant garde performances, daydreaming, and making things with your friends. Which is one of my hidden, (unrealized) desires (of such you spoke) that for some reason I believe will make me very happy. Sigh. Happiness.

    Also the other day someone posted something on FB that made me think about happiness, esp as regards to the pursuit of creating/sharing art. It was a Venn Diagram … one side was near absolute narcissism, and the other was near crippling self-doubt. And in the middle was art. It’s kind of a pessimistic look at things, though hilarious, but I was kind of like, doesn’t this take the fun/happiness out of the whole thing?

    Anyway. Cool mill. Cool blague. Reading it makes me happy.

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