Friday Fodder – Silliness

Once upon a time…

The sky was dripping blue again. Mr. Anderson was complaining about how bad it would stain his car. He would have to paint it again, or perhaps he could wait until a good sunset dripped.

The Mosmans were relaxing on their balcony, drinking a bottled 4:30 AM August sunrise. They insisted that only 4:00 AM sunrises were proper quality. 5:00 AM was far too bitter. And 6:00 AM wasn’t even worth speaking of.

Mothers handed their children umbrellas. “Now, remember,” they said, “keep your heads covered and don’t drink it.” The children nodded obediently and some rolled their eyes (when their parents weren’t looking) before racing off toward the buses, swinging lunchboxes at each other.

After all, the sky wasn’t dangerous – everyone knew that. Curious kids picked up pieces to taste, and some tucked them away in their lunch boxes. The pieces were too light for a meal but they made a good snack. Blue was light and fluffy, and it made your heart a little happier.

Thunderous sky pieces were exhilarating. They were always popular for bets because of the electric zing. Boys would dare each other to see whose tongue could take the burn. They had to be careful though. Teachers were always listening for rumblings and confiscating crackling morsels. This led to the boys becoming increasingly industrious. They tightened jars of thunder and wrapped them in paper towels, forgotten homework, and sweaty jackets. The smuggling only added to the thrill, making them feel sneaky and clever.

Jeremy was the best. Mrs Davis could search his backpack and dump out his entire desk without finding a thing. Somehow, by lunchtime, he would have a dozen mini jars for sale and bets. He never told the others that he had a secret agreement with Clara Paxton, the nerdy humming girl who always finished her assignments early. She kept them safe for him for $2 each and a portion of the bets.

Drips of cloud were the best though because they made excellent excuses. Teachers hated it when cloudy skies dripped. All a student had to say was that they accidentally swallowed some cloud in the morning and their head was all fuzzy so they couldn’t possibly pay attention. Never mind that Jason was enchanted with Sarah and the way she twirled her vibrant red hair or that Micky had stayed up late levelling up on the latest video game. No, it was clearly all clouds.

The sky was delicious. It was the stars that you had to stay away from.

Eleanor Preston drank one once. It turned all of her hair white. The adults were horrified, especially because it sparked several of her classmates to push past their bedtimes so they could have shiny hair too. Children were always looking for excuses to stay up. When you are young, life is too exciting to pause.

The blue and the grey in the other children’s hair eventually wore off and faded out, but Eleanor’s became brighter. Her teachers started to squint whenever they looked at her. Then one day, she began floating in gym class. It was just a few centre metres off the floor and the coach would not have even noticed if it wasn’t for Eric who cried out that she was cheating.

This is why no one liked Eric.

At first, it was fun. Eleanor won dance medals and everyone wanted her on their basketball team. But as time went on, they had to tie her down in class. When walking from class to class, she had to be fastened to two classmates to keep from floating off. She refused to walk into any room with a ceiling fan and her parents stopped allowing her to go outside to play. Eleanor would sit at the window watching the grass grow. She would smile at the sun on the dandelions, and sigh at her siblings playing soccer. She began wearing weights to keep her on the ground. At first, one or two, then twelve, and finally eighty-nine.

Eleanor had no need to turn the lights on; she read in the dark. She began to tell stories of a world where the sky stayed up and clear water came down. She could never remember where she heard those stories. Dorothy thought perhaps she might have heard them from the stars.

Eleanor’s voice changed to much higher and brighter. Teachers stopped calling on her and she started texting instead of talking. Bees and bugs drove her crazy. Nobody except Dorothy listened to Eleanor. After all, stars don’t talk.

One night, Eleanor left. They said her brother left the window open. Dorothy disagrees. She says she went out the screen door. They did find it slightly ajar with the locks and all eighty-nine weights scattered through the grass. Dorothy said she usually snuck out to listen to the stars and feel the sky again. Dorothy thinks she’s probably a star herself now.

“Stars don’t move,” Tony said. Tony was always saying smart stuff that annoyed people.

“But people do,” Dorothy said.

The sky kept dripping. Buses splashed sky back on the pavement. Kids kept sneaking thunder. The Mosmans planned their next harvest and plotted dates on their calendar. They decided on traveling and said that beach and mountain sunrises tasted better than small-town ones. Dorothy kept watching the stars. Mothers kept handing out umbrellas. “Don’t drink it,” they said. And the kids kept drinking it.

The sky was delicious. Just don’t drink the stars.

“She had always observed that she got on better with clever women than silly ones like herself; the silly ones could never understand her wisdom; whereas the clever ones – the really clever ones – always understood her silliness.”

― Henry James

Moral of the Story:

Never underestimate the value of being a little silly from time to time. Too often we reject the wonderful silliness that is an inherent part of who we are because we mistakenly believe that it serves no purpose or that is at odds with the grown-up culture of maturity. We play, yet we tend to not lose ourselves in play. In this way, our imaginations are never truly given free rein because we regard the products of irrational creativity as being valueless. However, silliness constitutes a vital part of human existence on a myriad of levels. Our first taste of ethereal bliss is often a consequence of our willingness to dabble in what we deem as outrageous, nonsensical, or absurd. We delight in ridiculousness not only because laughter is intrinsically pleasurable, but also because it serves as a reminder that life is fun. The reason for existence is delight, not misery.

When things look grim, why not do something ridiculous? There is no evidence in the all-time history of forever that says life is to be taken seriously. Not only that, when you laugh, you raise your vibration and send a message to your cells that they are safe! Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce. Skipping, doodling, dancing and singing funny songs are no less entertaining than they were when we were children. It is precisely because so much of life is inescapably serious that silliness must be regarded as a priority. Through the magic of imagination, you can be or become anything. Giving yourself permission to be silly will nourish your creativity, and it is a great exercise in letting go.

“Never underestimate the healing power of silliness and absurdity.”

― Steve Maraboli

Affirmation: Life is better when I'm laughing.

Why become moody when I can shake my booty. I become lighter and lighter as I sprinkle my days with a little silliness. Laughter is the best medicine. I am smart, full of funny ideas and I laugh at myself often. I love imagination, deep connections, animals, the natural world, ideas and ideals … and silliness. My Feelings are just visitors and I allow them to come and go. When shit happens, I turn it into fertiliser. I can transform tragedy into comedy. No matter how I feel, I will get up, dress up, show up and never give up. I am naturally charismatic and seeing the funny side of life comes naturally to me. The more I laugh, the healthier I become. Every time I see myself in the mirror, I feel good about me. Nothing can dim the light that shines from within me. I am always in the right place at the right time and everything will turn out better than fine.

“There’s a dream dreaming us. If you try to think about what that means it makes your mind silly, but that silliness is good.”

― Natalie Goldberg

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