A little pigeon tells me that I may have been irresponsible. I speak to the birds all the time, and to the trees, and to the flowers. I believe that the divine is present in all things. That’s just the kind of girl I am. On this azure bright Seattle day, this particular pigeon feels that I am being unfair. I have not, after all, issued a disclaimer for all of the activities that I am urging you to do. You have not been warned, and therefore you do not know the risks, of blowing bubbles, of writing, of making art. I listen to the pigeons, so I’ve decided to take her advice and give you the straight skinny.
WARNING: Joy (of any kind, and at any dosage) may cause the following side effects: uncontrollable giggling, increased energy, and an excess of intriguing ideas. The muse may keep you awake, and you may smile at moments when others feel it is inappropriate. You may even say something silly. There are documented instances of spontaneous brainstorms. Furthermore, once you have a steady dose of joy in your system you may no longer be able to sustain an extended cynical conversation. You may decide to stop attending boring parties. You may even get distracted by your new perspective on the universe.
I will share a cautionary story from my own experience: Thursday night I saw the movie Sons and Lovers (Jack Cardiff, 1960). If you read my blog last week, you’ll know that I wasn’t sure I would like it. I loved it, but partly because art has warped my brain. It won an Oscar for cinematography, but I didn’t know that before I saw it. I did know that almost every frame of the movie was a photograph I’d like to have in my living room. The film was in black and white, and I’ve been doing a lot of sketching in pen, so I was noticing the contrasts, thinking how I would draw them. My writer’s brain picked out the quotable lines, and the part of me that used to act was blown away by Trevor Howard’s performance. Was I still able to follow the plot? Yes, because when I’m hopped up on joy my brain can be a multi-tasking little art machine, and when it isn’t, I find I enjoy the distractions.
I would tell the pigeon that I took her advice and gave you a disclaimer, but she’s busy splashing in a puddle. She must be on some joy herself. You have been warned.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
8. Indulge in an experimental dose of something creative today. Note the side effects.