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.


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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