It was 105 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday, at midnight. The season of summer hate has begun. Last year we installed sprinklers in a couple of palm trees to simulate rain in the front yard. (I’m from the Deep South---I can’t survive more than twenty feet from a fern.) Yesterday it was like a steaming jungle---for eight minutes, twice a day. The ferns like it. We humans spend as much time as possible in the pool. Today was no exception.
Aubrey is in South Carolina, visiting her grandmother, Pete is working out of town. Orion and I were still swimming at least a half hour after turning to prunes. It was my turn to do a ‘silly jump”, which consists of striking a ridiculous pose (including facial expression) and trying to hold it until we hit water. Teetering on the ledge, I was frozen (think Wile-E-Coyote) making a face like someone watching the third clown wriggle out of their Daschund’s ass, when it occurred to me.
Would I pose thus if there were forty people here? People I know? People I don’t? (Would you?)
Doubtless I’m going to find out because Orion loves this game, rewarding the most grotesquely silly jumps with giggles and “that’s pretty good.” Inevitably he will put me on the spot with the finesse only toddlers wield.
I’m not advocating going around acting like a goof. Free expression is like profanity and farting in that it is inappropriate in some situations. What I do suggest is that we break through our fear of humiliation and bypass this particular self censor. In other words, when the time comes, don’t hold back.
What if we stop being afraid of the lime green crayon? Or we applaud if the movie calls for it? What if we say what we really mean or smile at someone passing by or once in a very blue moon, dance (or head bang) with gleeful abandon? What then?
I’m thinking it would work like this:
Not holding back will lead to Freedom of Expression
Uninhibited expression will encourage Freedom of Thought.
Thinking without boundaries will become inventiveness and insight and creativity.
Some of the best moments in my life have begun with the willingness to risk making an utter fool of myself.
I’m going to keep trying to do as Bill Hicks suggested: .” “If you’re gonna play , play from your fucking heart.”
“If you’re gonna make something up, you might as well go hog-wild.”
*If you’re reading this I suppose you’re excused from attending the actual class. But if you want extra credit, you could actually show up here: Balticon 40 Apparently I’ll be talking in person about creativity and other topics and leading some right brain aerobics to help us better humiliate ourselves. Lots of other cool stuff going on too.