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 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.)