Happiness is… (and what do TimTams have to do with it?)

July 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Sound Space

paper kites 2Happiness for me in this moment is one of a quiet contentment; a middle-ground if you like where there’s no extremes. I’m also finding happiness lies in laughing at silly, playful things, like seeing people stuck in boring conversations when you just know they’re desperately looking for an ‘out’. The antics of Mr Bean also come to mind. Hmm…

I recently read an article on happiness that intrigued me. It talked about filling ourselves up with the people and things that make us most happy; the old ‘jar theory’. It explained that if we take time to notice these, we’ll realise they either take from our jar of happiness or add to it. If we strive to fill our jar to overflowing, we then radiate our joy and happiness to the world. I decided that day, to look for jar fillers; both within and outside myself.

I’m generally a happy person, (well that is when I’m not navel gazing, or giving up something I really enjoy like Tim Tam biscuits); but finding happiness in the ordinary jar fillers has been a gift too. Things like cuddles from nieces, kisses from a Pupstar, laughing for no reason or just a gorgeous melody and rhythm that starts my foot tapping.

I took a backward process, defining the ‘what doesn’t’ so I might find the ‘what does’.

I started by saying I don’t like getting up at 5:30am to get ready for work, but I realised I love watching the day come alive. The silence broken by the call of the first Kookaburra as the darkness lifted on a new day. I said that I don’t like doing housework, but I realised I wouldn’t swap anything for the mess made by precious little hands as we made chocolate cookies together. Who would replace the memories of those smiles and giggles, faces beaming as they licked the mixing spoons with such delight!

Music of course makes me happy too…

  • I don’t like heavy metal – but I love classical and opera
  • I don’t like grunge – but I’ll dance away just about anywhere to funk, latin or blues
  • I don’t like doof doof (electronica) – but acoustic folk is pure contentment
  • I don’t like hip hop, rap, punk, techno – but there is a long list of what does make me happy too.

I discovered a wonderful little duo this month that filled the ‘happiness’ criteria: The Paper Kites, an acoustic act from Melbourne, Victoria.

paper kites 3Christina Lacy and Sam Bentley share their quirky stories through some of the most gorgeous harmonies I’ve heard in quite some time. With ability well beyond their obvious years, they’re able to make the thought of a long departure away from a loved one sound so beautiful, that you barely realise that’s what they’re singing about.

My favourite track ‘Conversations’ makes me laugh as Christina sings “Can’t get away from you…. Can’t get away”. It reminds me of times I felt like I was going insane; madly plotting how I could free myself from the mundane conversation I was stuck in, and thinking ‘how can I get away from you!?!’. This train of thought definitely falls into the “laughing at silly things” category! Maybe it’s just the glockenspiel in this track that does it for me, or maybe it is just part of my silly laughing, but it’s a playful little number that I thoroughly enjoy.

The ethereal backing vocals on ‘Arms’ sends a tingle up my spine as Sam sings “What can I give that is all for you? These arms are all I have. I’ll hold you like I do love you…”. Such a simple message delivered with such captivating honesty that I wonder who the song was written about.

I’m not entirely sure that I’ve listened fully to each word in their songs, this month it’s been more a case of the sprinkling of instrumentation, the rhythm and vocals more than the message that has made me happiest. As I said in the beginning, happiness for me in this moment is without the extremes so maybe the ukulele and banjo that feature throughout are what I need, and therefore, the happiest moments for me at this time (that, and a fresh packet of Mint Slice biscuits perhaps).

You can find The Paper Kites here


2 Responses to “Happiness is… (and what do TimTams have to do with it?)”
  1. Kel says:

    hey Dee, thanx for introducing me to the paper kites
    listening to them made me tap my feet, nod my head and smile

  2. Dee says:

    Hi Kel

    Really pleased to hear that you enjoyed the Paper Kites! Break out the Tim Tams and keep smiling :)