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May 22nd, 2019
Sometimes things are too tense, too dark, too dreary.
Often things are simply too something. Too, too. As in quadruple O’s.
We’re fiends for feeling. That’s the stuff of life, to feel it, to drink deep of what it’s got to give. We can be pretty mindless about this greedy, scrooging when it comes to what we feel. So mindless in fact that many of us accidentally tap a deep vein of some dark feeling and we are all too willing to stick an oil-company-sized straw down into that pit of despair and slurp that poison into our minds.
Yet it’s from our own minds we tap this infinite well of despair. Our imagination, in this respect is thrown on the hamster-wheel, and put to work, to churn out more dreary landscapes of the mind for our fiendish hunger for feeling to frolic through.
Rarely are our circumstances actually so bad as to equal the magnitude of what we can imagine. This is why scary movies hold back a full look at the monster for so long. Those movies bank on the power of imagination which always comes up with something far more terrifying, and individually tailored for everyone in the audience.
All these feelings are a bit like colors of a painter’s pallet. Mix them all together and you’re bound to get something rather muddy and undifferentiated.
The imagination is a kind of everything machine in the same way a disco ball is. Toss it in any direction and it’ll print out something reminiscent of that direction. Toss it down into a pit of despair and it’ll multiply, magnify and reflect back a million times that pit of despair.
On the other hand, that disco ball down there can be like a Ghostbuster trap. Shine a light of humor down at that discoball and it’ll split a joke a million ways and light up a pit of despair.
Like sunshine on mold, if only we be so bold and disrespect some dark and brooding emotion with a joke, a smile, an incongruous laugh, that emotion can wither pathetic in light of the new situation.
Reach for anything, a fart joke, a penis joke. Who cares when things are bad.
Think of a cancer patient.
Oh, did this just get dark?
Ok, think of a cancer patient who is constantly making fun of their own situation.
Family and friends walk into a hospital room, their eyes welling up with tears, flowers quivering in trembling hands, fears about saying the wrong thing clamping their tongues, and then they are greeted.
“Guys, check out this baller haircut they gave me! I look like Donald Trump being hit with the full force of climate change!”
Let’s say no one laughs.
So cancer patient tries again.
“Aw geez, can’t I even get a pity laugh? I mean I’m actually dying here.”
Funny how we say that when we laugh really hard. “I’m dying!”
Actually that’s what the word ‘hilarious’ is supposed to mean. It’s when something is so funny you die from it.
As long as we don’t actually know the person, of course. Because that would be sad.
But hey, since we’re such fiends for feeling, let’s tack on anything that spikes an emotional response, right?
That’s what we’re all after anyways.
No need to pause and think calmly about things while practicing to maintain a sense of equanimity, right?
That’s for Buddha’s and Jedi’s, and Robert Mueller.
So let’s get back to our cancer patient for a second. The commercial break ends and we see the family and friends leaving the room, smiles and tears being wiped away.
Surely we’re bound to hear something like “So sad, but at least they’re keeping up a good sense of humor about everything.”
Cancer patient will inevitably call out boisterously, realizing how much social freedom their new situation gives them.
“No crying you wimps! And remember when I’m dead, I want to be propped up in the corner of a bar where you’ll all be getting hammered, and you have to do what I say cause I’m dying, like James Bond laughing at the end of Casino Royale while getting nailed in the balls by fate.”
Cancer patient then starts to laugh at their own joke.
“Get it? I’m dying?”
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Appreciation can be more than a feeling. Toss something in the jar if you find your thinking delightfully tinkered.