The Lawren Harris painting "Old Stump, Lake Superior," is shown in a handout photo. A cultural group founded by artists including Group of Seven member Harris is suspending operations after 67 years, a victim of federal spending cuts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Lawren Harris, Old Stump, Lake Superior

You have the feeling that the world may in fact be conspiring to make you happy. Sometimes these little glimpses of happiness come in the form of a stranger’s smile on the street or from the sudden scent of someone baking bread at the local market.

You begin to feel that these are not merely accidents.

One day, Providence even brings a woman into your life. She is strikingly beautiful; everyone says so. She has long red hair, round brown eyes and a smile that radiates like the sun. You start flirting with her innocently and you notice that you seem to have some miraculous power to make her blush, even to make her laugh.

You cannot stop thinking about her and then, the unimaginable, the unthinkable happens; you’re kissing her on her bed in a small basement apartment. You’re not sure how you got there. This room that is littered with Thai take away containers, books, old vinyl, and a half opened bottle of red wine; a jazz record is playing in the background, Mingus probably. When you touch her smooth shoulders she shudders a little and turns to look deeply into your eyes.

She meets your parents and you meet hers. Everything goes smoothly like it was cosmically preplanned. Sometimes, in unexpected moments you find yourself wondering what you could have done to deserve this.

You have been to a lot of places together. You have made love all over the world, exploring each others bodies across different time zones and at different hours. Together the world takes on a new dazzling light; a contagious glow follows you around. Your days roll out naked and serenely. Every day is a crazy song and a composition of colors you have never seen before. This is how you look at the world together.

It’s always the little things that matter.

A barbecued steak with grilled red potatoes, deep green steamed broccoli, a sunset red glass of wine and a conversation filled with the energy of life; all of its endless possibility. You embrace the whole world together; breathe the same air; allowing a door to open onto a sweeter and more profound intimacy.

Moments like this are always accompanied by the feeling that there’s nowhere else to go and nothing else to do. Your inner moon descends and the barking dogs in your head fall silent. You love listening to her; even when she complains that her thighs are getting bigger. Her voice is soft and soothing; swollen even, from the depths of a boundless love.

She is sitting there gracefully, holding a dying moth in her hands. It trembles as it kisses her fingers with its long circular tongue. The sky is moonless within the music of midnight, the tree branches embrace the starry sky.

“That’s how I want to die,” you say.
“But you’re too big and heavy,” she says, smiling sadly.
“You know what I mean,” you say, lifting the wine to your lips; drinking in the deep dark river of oblivion.

The moment closes behind you forever but a new, uncharted one opens up and beckons for you both to enter, watchfully. It is always like this, a succession of white pearls on the great necklaces of our lives.

You drink a little too much, the wine lifting you into a hazy world with its ecstatic song. She puts you to bed and places a cold glass of water nearby. She leans over, kisses you and turns off the light. You watch this from some distant tower, until horses gallop across your thoughts, taking you away with them.

In the morning, the lifeless shell of the moth lays heavy on the patio table. You had hoped that miraculously it would be given a new birth; another chance to seek out the mysterious balls of light it continually ached for. But instead, the inevitable happened. It lies heavy on the table with the weight of the world and the sadness of the universe.

You can still remember the moth trembling.