Monday, July 26, 2010

I screama you screama we all screama for ice creama

Happy pretty-much-full Moonday.  The moon is in Aquarius, a fixed air sign.  Its time to make dreams real and to be filled with inspiration and new ideas.  Hurray.

As I’m typing this I keep glancing down at my left wrist that is encircled with a glossy yellow ribbon with sky blue lettering that reads, ‘I wish to find pleasure in things as much as I used to as a child.’

That sentence makes me think of the Fourth of July circa 1980 and ‘I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream’.  I remember a hot sticky South Florida twilight carpeted by scratchy crab grass and graced by fireflies.  I’m sitting at a picnic table next to my best friend holding an as yet unlit sparkler and chanting. Ice cream appears like magic in vats behind us, and a big sign is put up that reads ‘make your own sundaes’.  The ice cream chant gets louder as we are joined by a horde of other kids and laughing, loopy adults. 

I’m also reminded of one of my favorite films, Down By Law by Jim Jarmusch, when Tom Waits, John Lurie and Roberto Benigni are in a prison cell in New Orleans and Roberto Benigni says that he ‘has a scream’ and starts this chant which eventually takes over the entire prison ward.  If any of us ever find ourselves in prison, may we be lucky enough to share a cell with Roberto Benigni, at least in our minds.

The ribbon on my wrist came from an interactive art exhibit now on display at the New Museum on the Bowery in New York City by artist Rivane Neuenschwander.  On three sides of a room are thousands of multicolored ribbons with wishes on them.  You choose a ribbon, take it out of the wall, and leave your own wish in the hole in the wall that the ribbon leaves.  Neuenschwander writes that this is a riff on a Brazillian folk practice. The whole exhibit, entitled ‘A Day Like Any Other’ transforms the mundane—an empty room, a dripping bucket, a chewed plastic swizzle stick— into something with the significance of a dream or a child’s imagination, and turns our wishes into things of beauty in and of themselves.  If you aren’t in NYC, you can still participate in the exhibit and leave a wish online.



 I think the wish on my wrist might just be the secret to happiness.  The other night there was a short summer thunderstorm.  The air has been thick and heavy for weeks without rain so it felt a little bit like Christmas to hear those bellows drowning out the cacophony of the city and the hiss of a hard downpour on hot pavement.

I sat watching the storm from a seat on my windowsill, which is about a foot wide, glancing down at my yellow ribbon and remembering how when I was a kid I thought windowsills that you could sit on were about the coolest thing in the world.  In the rare event that I found a windowsill wide enough, I’d hop up and sing ‘The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow’ pretending I was looking out at a grimy New York City street instead of someplace in pristine suburbia.    How wonderful that was.  And suddenly it is wonderful again. 

How about you?  What was a simple pleasure you enjoyed immensely as a child?

P.S. I know I haven’t posted in forever, or even been online at all in a millennium in web terms, but I didn’t want to start out writing about that.  I had some exceedingly pressing business that I’ll probably write about soon.  I’m back now, and have made a commitment to myself (and now to you, kind reader) to post every Moonday, Wednesday and Friday until further notice (certainly for several web millennia.)

6 comments:

Sandi Longhurst said...

Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might have the wish I wish tonight...

I revisited this childhood pleasure every night on my desert quest as dusk and night folded into each other and the clear sky became punctuated with stars. It has been said that Southern Utah offers some of the best stargazing on our beautiful planet. The combination of the remote locations with limited light pollution and the desperately dry desert create the perfect clear combo for wishing on stars.

Welcome back Moondays... and now to add my wish to the Rivane Neuenschwander exhibit with my child's mind knowing that dreams really do come true.

Kate T.W. said...

That explains a little of the cosmic beauty I see reflected in your eyes in your photo (that I happen to know you took in the desert.) Reminds me of when an astronomer I know explained to me just how real it is that we are made of star dust, and how the light from the stars is literally in our eyes when we star gaze.

Also reminds me of a part of the exhibit where Rivane Neuenschwander cut up the book 1001 Arabian Nights into tiny circles on black backgrounds and turned the stories into star clusters...

ann galkowski said...

I know I keep talking about the ocean this summer, and it is something that I have loved deeply as a child. Lately I have been doing lots of body surfing and hanging out on the shore...

Kate T.W. said...

Body surfing... fantastic.

Tony Gonzalez said...

There was a great climbing tree in our neighbor's back yard, behind our garage. One spring I discovered in this tree a dove's nest with eggs. When the momma dove was sitting in the nest I would climb the tree in slow motion so as not to frighten her away. Then I would sit on a limb a few feet away for long stretches of time - just looking.

Kate T.W. said...

Wonderful. Kids don't get enough credit for being able to enter into meditative states so naturally... Climbing a tree in slow motion. Something any able bodied person could try. So much richness possible in that. You know I'm doing it the next chance I get.