Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not strict in form, or what happens when you give a flamingo a yo-yo

One of my favorite movies of all time is Fantasia.  I love music and colors and dancing, so it seems like a perfect fit.  For my birthday, the man I love got me a musical snow globe thingy with Hyacinth Hippo & Ben Ali Gator dancing about.  That being our wedding cake topper and a frequent metaphor we use for ourselves, it was also a perfect fit.

Sadly, the musical workings parts... didn't.  But the globes were all sold out, so instead of a working musical snow globe, I got a silent globe and a gift certificate.  Well... I only owned the original Fantasia on VHS, and didn't have the new one at all.  Darling husband remedied that, and now I have both on DVD & Blu-Ray. 

As I watch, I'm reminded of all the things I loved, and why this movie is so special.  Imagination.  When I close my eyes and listen to this music, I don't see what the artists saw and then created and transferred to a visual medium so I can share their vision.  I see other stuff that I won't be able to share with anyone except through rambley, inarticulate explanations that involve lots of gesticulation.  Yet, like tinder, those images spark others and then my mind is off in a million directions planning universes that revolve around  me and granting my every whim.

My imagination is one of the things that has been both an incredible gift and a hindrance.  I suppose you could look at most gifts as both a boon and a curse, but that's a much bigger topic of discussion.  Not that imagination is a small or concise subject.  I've often been caught day-dreaming when I should have been doing useful and constructive things.  I dreamed of tutus and my name in lights as I entertained thousands of adoring fans in whatever particular way suited my fancy on that day.  I dreamed of wandering the globe in stylish and convenient modes of transportation.  I hardly ever imagined anything practical, like living in the suburbs with three cats and a dog, a husband and a cube job. 

When your mind is off on all the wild possibilities of the life we see in movies, how do you focus on the realities of life, like saving for mundane things like car repairs and new carpet?  How do you resist the temptation to wallow in dissatisfaction because life isn't grand or majestic?

Fluffy socks.

It's true.  Fuzzy socks are the answer.  Not just warm socks.  Warm socks are practical like 401(k)s and life insurance.  I'm talking about socks made of chenille that's been obnoxiously colored, stripped or polka dotted or patterned with some anthropomorphized animal.  Maybe with little grippy things on the bottom.  Maybe not.  They have to at least cover your ankles, and should allow you to slip and slide around on a hardwood floor better than Tom Cruise in that movie where he forgets to put on pants.  See, they have function--they keep your feet warm.  But they embrace the silly, the muppety, the wild dreamer inside.  Silly socks make life better.  If you can wear silly socks, then life can't be all bad.  You have a spark, a chance to dream and do little things that make the normal parts of life extraordinary.  I have a cube job, where I work with incredible people who make me laugh, and whom I willing spend non-working hours with.  I have a house full of pets and a husband to share the load.  I make crafts and wear costumes and spend 25% of the year pretending to be someone else.  I have friends and family all within easy driving distance.  I know at least 5 great places to eat and have a drink in my city.  I know I have people I can call when I want to dance, or shop, or eat, or see a movie.  It may not be the same as thousands of adoring fans, but an hour of laughing over shared memories feels just as cool (I think... I've never actually had the adoring fans to make an honest comparison, but I don't feel deprived by having never been face to face with those screaming hordes). 

So life is still full of imagination, even when you're balancing your checkbook or grocery shopping.  And when you don't let the mundaneness of life stiffle the silly and amazing thoughts in your head, with like minded friends, you can make cool things happen.

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