August 15th, 2022
“As for its being silly, I don’t mind that. Sometimes it’s great fun to be silly, like children playing statues and dying of laughter. And sometimes being silly breaks the even pace and lets you get a new start.”
– The Winter of Our Discontent
Being silly is natural to me, but there are times I forget what silly is.
Those are usually times when I am anxious or stressed or I feel like I am letting people’s expectations of me down.
That is when being reminded of silliness is the most important thing to me. It’s one of the reasons I always have Spider-Man in the back of my mind; in even the most dangerous and life-threatening of situations, ol’ Web-Head has a joke to weave levity through the thread of despair.
Sometimes I am the bringer of silliness. Sometimes a stranger gives it to me.
Last week, I was having a stressful hour. There was too much to do, and I felt like I was too little to do it right. I had a perpetually refreshing list of tasks in my mind, and was dutifully checking boxes as quickly as I could when a woman stopped me.
She asked me if she could ask me a question.
I tried to politely disregard the fact that she had, in fact, already asked me one, and told her sure.
She then inquired: “Who gave you those dimples, your mom or your dad?”
My eyes welled with tears and I smiled, a real one.
I’ve had so many reminders of my mom lately, consciously and deeper; photos and memories, places and moments. I haven’t allowed myself to stay in any, because I haven’t felt strong enough to.
And then this woman reminded me how silly my mom was, and how she passed that silliness on to me; my mom left me so much and that includes these two dimples.
It brought me back. To Earth, to the present, to the moment, to silly.
And I let the list of things I needed to do grow, and I talked to her for a while. Everyone needed something from me, but she wanted to give.
So we were silly together for a minute, and then the world demanded me back, and I returned; not broken, not less than, but restored.