Today's Punch Line
Have you heard this?
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.
That's why they call it the present."
If you haven't, I apologize for poking fun. If you have, please just nod along...
I smiled the first time I saw that quote.
And the second.
I became slightly annoyed after the 15th time.
After the 174th time, all I could do is sigh.
Even the most powerful of words or images loses its strength after too much repetition. (And those that weren't so powerful after the first time just become annoying.) You might have noticed this phenomenon when something gets shared on Facebook by every one of your friends who are seeing something for the first time...even if your news feed has seen little else for the past week. (It's not that the photo of the cat with that adorable phrase isn't fun. It just isn't as cute the gazzilionth time around.)
Or what about that hit song that you loved....until it played on the radio - every station - 22 times a day. (Heeeey, macarena!)
Things are often powerful or moving because they shift our perspective - even if temporarily.
They stop our habitual sleepwalking. They catch our attention and bring us into a mindful experience.
It's like stubbing your toe on a crack in the sidewalk (don't worry - no one noticed). That little hop-skip maneuver is enough to shake you out of whatever had you lost in thought and to bring your attention to this exact moment.
Jokes work the same way. They are funny because they are unexpected. After you've heard a joke five times and know the punch line, it usually isn't as funny.
But we become accustomed to the unexpected very quickly. We often do this on purpose. Why?
The unexpected can be uncomfortable.
We spend much of our time looking to create as much stability as we can - a stable job, a comfortable home, an ongoing relationship. Because we shy away from change (which is going to happen anyway), we often find ourselves caught off guard when it happens. The rest of the time, we are lulled into a routine life....often searching out something different, but juuuust different enough to still be within our perceived control.
It's almost as if we'd rather be annoyed by the same old thing than face the discomfort of trying something new.
Shake things up a little.
Try to be with the discomfort of change. Find your punch line and laugh out loud - even if no one is laughing with you. Do a little hop-skip on the sidewalk without needing to stub your toe - and feel the delight in a split-second of flight.
Stop being so damn serious with your philosophies on life. Yes, it is touching to quote famous poets, to ponder about dreams and hopes and fairies, to go deep and explore healing and emotion and world hunger. (And yes, I do all of this here at LifeUnity and will continue to.)
But every once in awhile, we all need to just step back
and just laugh.
I woke myself up a few nights ago with a very light-hearted feeling...and an odd desire to create two rather whacky, non-sensical pieces of art. I could say the one below has something to do with acknowledging this moment, thinking of the day, being present for... nope. In hindsight, sure...but the initial purpose of the piece was pure fun.
And that is deliciously perfect.
Today, 8" x 8", encaustic on cradled panel