Tuesday, May 18, 2010

project: find joy in the pavement cracks

I do believe she was looking for rocks when I took this picture. Rcoks are her current outdoor obsession. ROCKS ROCKS ROCKS!

Yesterday while eating lunch I found myself thinking about a line from the movie Elizabethtown. It's this one, from Susan Sarandon's character Holly.

She says, "But you know, I figured it out. It takes time to be funny... and it takes time to extract joy from life."

I want to think about that for a minute with you.

It takes time
to extract
from life.

I wonder.

I know that you're busy. And tired. And probably feeling more than a little bit run down. I know that I have been feeling exactly those things-- nothing heavy, but a general late-spring malaise that eats the soul for breakfast and continues right on through the body until there is nothing left for dessert.

When I think about this idea, that being funny takes time--- that finding joy is a process that requires a commitment of focus--- it makes me feel like I've been a little lazy. That the past several weeks of heavy thinking are the result of a failure of my imagination.

I'm not naive enough to think that it's just a change of heart, a change of perspective, that will put the soul-sucking malaise monster to bed. But I do think that a general shift in understanding would do wonders for this here beat-down Whimsy. I'd like to propose an experiment, my Minions. A call to arms and a call to hope.

Anyone who even skims the briefest bits here at The Creamery knows that I hold a special place in my heart for pain, a quiet reverance for the refining fire of sadness and what it teaches us about being human. You should know that I do not make this suggestion lightly. But I think it might be good. For me, surely, but maybe for you.

I'm proposing a challenge. A journey. An attempt. Something new.

This invitation is extended to the dearest hardcore Minions and non-minions alike, to anyone who even stops by on the smallest most flighty whim.

To find joy. To extract it from each day. And to share it.

Here's how it's going to work:

For a week, beginning on Monday May 24th, I'm going to strive to find something joyful in my day. And I'm going to write about it. For a week I will do nothing but focus on extracting joy--- pulling it out from beneath the surface, coaxing it forward, digging for it if the situation requires.

I'd love for you to do the same. Email me or comment here if you're in for the ride - maybe you can't imagine posting about joy for an entire week. Try for a single day. If you tell me that you're playing along, I'll visit your blog and post links here of your inspiring stories. Don't forget to link back here, that way we can try to encourage others to join in the game.

At the end of the week (or two - I'm reserving the right to extend it if it's going well), I'm going to choose my favorite post that someone else has done and they will get a bonafide Whimsy Care Package. I've been told I am talented in the ways of the wily Care Package.

Of course this isn't about the goods, but in a true challenge to find joy, doesn't a package in the mail make things even more joyful?

What do you think? You can tell me it's a terrible idea, I will love you anyway and I will find something to smile about (your honesty).


Pickles and Dimes said...

I'm in. Don't know how often I'll be able to post this week, but I'll focus on the good stuff when I do.

Bethsix said...

Oh, you KNOW I am in. There are so many things I like about this. Not the least of which is that it is inaugurated ON MY BIRTHDAY! And also, the possibility of Whimsy Care Package! And also, JOY!

I have had the malaise. Malaise to be countered with JOY!

kately said...

Totally In. Awesome idea. Very encouraging and uplifting of you to propose it, my friend. Let's hope that Joy goes VIRAL on the internet! :-)

Rose said...

Of course it's not about the package, but I will attempt to join the ride! I'm fairly inconsistent about posting, and I'm trying to be more consistent!

I'll join the ride!

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

This is a wonderful post and a wonderful challenge. "Man is that he might have joy." That phrase rings through my head again and again, like a gong from a far off monastery. If it's in the scriptures then shouldn't we try to have that joy, I think to myself. I ponder and wonder where the worry, the fear, the sadness comes from when we are supposed to have joy. So I'll try to find it every day. It will be an adventure. Here's to you and me and everyone else who will surely be better off when the week (or two) is over.

Hannah said...

Hey Whimsy,
I just stumbled across your post by way of the Stirrup Queen. I think your idea is brilliant; thanks for reminding us and calling us to the challenge. Sometimes, in the midst of the chaos of an average day, I have to remind myself to stop and take it in, that this is the good stuff in life. To start out the week consciously looking for it, reflecting on it, and appreciating it should be even better.

Amy said...

Sounds fun!

bzzzzgrrrl said...

I'm in. Working on Post 1 now.

Amanda said...

I just posted my first finding of joy.


tim riggins said...

Of course it's not about the package, but I will attempt to join the ride! I'm fairly inconsistent about posting, and I'm trying to be more consistent! interlocking stone ottawa