Amazing and sometimes silly

During my dismaying 19-hour internet outage over the weekend, one of my “as long as I can’t burn my eyes out staring at a screen” activities was hanging two motivational plaques above and below the clock that I see when I look directly up from my writing desk.

“Today only happens once — make it amazing.”

 I found that a couple years ago at a Chase Stone Barn artists sale. It cost $5, and I felt I was stealing at that price. The one drawback was she didn’t do anything in the back to make it hangable, so I installed a thingie to hang it from a nail — botching the job the first time; I mean, how hard is it to drill a hole and attach a thingie exactly in the middle of a plaque? You measure and drill — and that’s how I was reminded of the old saw, “Measure twice, cut once.”

“Be silly sometimes.”

Life gets to be serious business. I can never find the exact quote when I need it, but someone once said (something to the effect of) there is nothing so serious that it can’t be seen as ridiculous. It’s true, and sometimes you just have to be silly. That’s where Monday’s post came from — I was so frustrated not being able to do the work I usually do online, I decided to write from the perspective of someone so accustomed to being connected that he is lost and afraid when the connection is broken. It was serendipity that the internet outage was restored while I was writing the piece, so you got to experience my relief in real time.

But you have to be silly. A dear woman, who spent a handful of years as my wife a long time ago, once showed up at my door during a trying time wearing Groucho Marx glasses and mustache. It warmed the chill and lightened everything for a while — ah, the power of a smile and a laugh.

The clock itself, by the way, is Side 2 of the immortal Will the Circle Be Unbroken album, the side that begins with “Tennessee Stud.” When I saw that clock in the crafter’s shop, I had two simultaneous thoughts: “How ghastly that anyone would deface a classic record like that!” and “I have to buy this!”

I’m not sure there are two better bits of advice side by side: Today only happens once; make it amazing. And be silly sometimes.

Make it so!

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