HUMANS OF THE PFISTER | JULY 2016 | Continued
When do you feel most alive?
When do you feel the freest?
How do you pursue happiness?
Feel free to send me a photo and an anecdote (more questions here) to firstname.lastname@example.org
“I feel most alive when I’m at my peak, with my home life, my love life, my work life. And also with my wealth. I don’t mean just monetary wealth. It’s also my personal wealth, the things I value, the laurels I have–and then staying true to those things. I feel most alive when I’m doing things the right way and things are working out.”
“I feel most alive when I feel like I’m making a progression, moving forward. Otherwise, I’m at a standstill. I measure myself to see how I’m progressing. It’s not an ‘envy’ kind of measurement. But I’m only twenty and I feel like I’m behind. We’re all born with different cards. Some people get aces, kings, or queens. Others get deuces, two’s, or three’s. I just want to feel like I have a nice strong deck in my hands.”
Her: “I am the happiest when I get to watch my husband find his happiness. He’s a closet rock star who never pursued that part of his life. Luckily, though, we live in Madison and there’s a band called The Gomers who play what’s called ‘Gomeroke.'”
Him: “How lucky am I?” (referring to his wife, with whom he was celebrating their 28th anniversary) “I do feel so happy when I’m on that stage. It doesn’t matter what song you want to sing, they’ll play it. And if you’re singing off-key, they’ll change the key. If you forget the words, they’ll fill in for you. And the best part is coming down from that stage to join my wife and friends. This was like my therapy at times.”
Her: “Sometimes magic happens on that stage–I cried when he sang Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game.’ And sometimes people are pretty bad, but it doesn’t matter. The band will just smile and keep playing, and we’ll all celebrate the fact that they got on that stage. And me, I’m a doo-wop girl, a roadie, who’s there to help everyone shine.”
“My country song would be a happy adventure song, fully of travel, sunshine, and good people. I really foresee more travel for me in the future. My cousin and I have been talking about going to Cape Cod, the east coast, next. And Greece has been on my European bucket list for awhile.”
“My country song would be kind of like my cousin’s: full of sunshine, warm weather, and water. And there’d be a little love story. But definitely a beach, because it lightens you, frees you. Ooo…it’s invigorating to me.”
“We love coming downtown and staying at The Pfister. We live out in Sussex, but we still come down, even though lots of people out there would say we’re crazy going all that way. We used to live on 89th and Center in Milwaukee before we moved to Sussex. And when we first moved, our four-year-old daughter would cry: ‘It’s too quiet, mom. Where are the sirens? And where are the sidewalks? And the street lights?’ It would be dead silent. But you know what? She got used to it. And loves it.”
“My wife has some health problems and so we’re part of a support group. So many people are dying, so I try to lighten things up. I write a monthly, 18-page newsletter. I can put whatever the hell I want in it. There are a lot of jokes, of course. And this month I’ll have a quote from Patrick Henry: ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ There will be a Beauty of Nature section with a beautiful bird. And an Everybody Needs Somebody section with pictures of people with their dogs. An Aunty Acid section. Features about special people, like the one about the police commissioner of Chicago, and excerpts from caregiver journals. I’ll send you a copy of the latest newsletter.”
Him: “I’m the most alive when I’m listening to live music. I get emotional. So I try to go wherever the music is: Jazz Fest, Newport, Austin, here for Summerfest. Wherever. Even last night, at the Johnson Control stage–their whole focuse was on emerging artists, we got to hear Peter Bjorn. Me being fifty-six, I’ve never heard of them before, but it was like Swedish pop heaven; everyone was singing at the top of their lungs. I got–I get–very verklempt; I feel a connection. I mean, life is about dancing and singing. They’re the two biggest cures for illness. If we don’t live, then we’re not accomplishing anything, right?”
Her: “We just watched a documentary about China and Samoa and global warming. A woman in the film was saying that there has to be a shift in our moral imagination if we’re to fix things and be happy. She asked, ‘What do you want to do as a human being? You’re an adult. You have to make a human choice for yourself. You need the personal satisfaction that you’re doing something morally right for yourself and the world. Imagine, then, where you want to be morally, as a moral person.”