Have you ever worn a pair of boots that systematically pulled your socks down to your toes, with each step? While in New York last month, I experienced this phenomenon and I can tell you what a frustrating and inconvenience this can be. In fact, at the time, after stopping to pull the sock up numerous times I finally stopped, removed my foot from my boot and removed that offending sock, before putting the boot back on and continuing our walk. Now you have an idea of the many frustrations I’ve felt these past few days, trying to pull a blog out the never reaches of my mind. Plenty of story ideas flowing out, but instead of holding firm, they’ve pooled down at the bottom, offering no relief, just a simple inconvenience.
Yesterday, while visiting with Mrs. K, we decided, in lieu of venturing out into the lousy weather outside, we would watch an entertaining movie after lunch. This is quite a feat, in that, Mrs. K owns not a television nor internet service for streaming. Thus, I cart my laptop, an external disc drive and a set of old Bose computer speakers over to her house any time we watch a movie. Yesterday, we decided to treat ourselves to a feast of amusement with the film Harvey, starring James Stewart and his 6’3/4″ buddy, er bunny, friend.
“This used to be my doll’s favorite movie,” I said, adding, “Every time we held a sleepover, she would ask me to rent the darn thing, so her friends could delight in the joy Harvey brought to the screen. That is until one of her friends said the movie caused her to have nightmares…” I recalled. “A nightmare? Whatever brought her to that conclusion?” She wondered. “Well, for some odd reason, her friend is terrified of bunnies–in any form. The mere thought that Harvey happened to be not only a bunny, but one that was 6′ 3/4″ tall, terrified her…” I explained while she giggled. “So, in effect, her friend was terrified of the invisible whimsical, mischievous Pooka.”
We both smiled at the ridiculousness of the scenario and then harked back to some of the many nuggets of wisdom interspersed throughout that wonderful film and how they pertain to my neck of the woods.
Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
How many of us struggle daily with being pleasant instead of smart in this day and age of Social media barbarism? I think being pleasant is the better road to hoe and I will endeavor to do so from now on… hopefully my doll remembers this nugget the rest of her life.
Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.
In light of recent developments in our popular culture, I think winning over reality sounds like a wonderful idea…
I took a course in art last winter. I learnt the difference between a fine oil painting, and a mechanical thing, like a photograph. The photograph shows only the reality. The painting shows not only the reality, but the dream behind it. It’s our dreams, doctor, that carry us on. They separate us from the beasts. I wouldn’t want to go on living if I thought it was all just eating, and sleeping, and taking my clothes off, I mean putting them on…
What a beautiful acknowledgment that dreams are really what makes our lives worthwhile…
I am not artistic. On average (with the exception of my current writer’s block) I can write some small stories about my family, but I can’t draw a stick figure to save my soul. My doll on the other hand, has begun to explore her artistic side, drawing and painting using all types of paints, papers and canvases. “How does this look?” She’ll ask me mid creation and I always reply, “Fine, this looks fine or beautiful, etc.” I think the next time she asks, I’ll look deeper into the picture so I can see the dream behind her vision and hope I’m on the right track.
Harvey and I sit in the bars… have a drink or two… play the juke box. And soon the faces of all the other people they turn toward mine and they smile. And they’re saying, “We don’t know your name, mister, but you’re a very nice fella.” Harvey and I warm ourselves in all these golden moments. We’ve entered as strangers – soon we have friends. And they come over… and they sit with us… and they drink with us… and they talk to us. They tell about the big terrible things they’ve done and the big wonderful things they’ll do. Their hopes, and their regrets, and their loves, and their hates. All very large, because nobody ever brings anything small into a bar. And then I introduce them to Harvey… and he’s bigger and grander than anything they offer me. And when they leave, they leave impressed. The same people seldom come back; but that’s envy, my dear. There’s a little bit of envy in the best of us.
Yes, there is a little envy in all of us. Thankfully, Harvey and Elwood are pleasant sorts, who help us see, feel better and open our eyes a little wider with greater hope for our future.
I strongly recommend a (many) viewing(s) today.