Do you ever meet someone, read a book, hear a song, or observe a piece of art, only to realize that now everything makes sense, or the world has shifted a bit as a result?
I stumbled upon one such experience this week. My go-to “time filler” (time waster? To be determined…) is to watch comedy routines online. Sometimes, the old stuff. Robin Williams. The Marx Brothers. Then the newer stuff. One guy I enjoy, but had not watched a full comedy routine by, is Demitri Martin. His “If I” show is a cross between a one-man act and an inspirational speaker. Or maybe he’s just an inspiration to me. As he rattled off life reflections on social awkwardness, enjoying puzzles, palindromes, and mental exercises, I could relate. This is a man who created an alternate universe in his mind to keep himself occupied. Time and again in the performance, he calls this activity useless and unproductive. I find it greatly inspirational. (I was also on the high school math team.)
When faced with the boredom of everyday institutions (meetings, school, etc.) commingled with the discomfort of social interactions, Demitri chose to engage his brain in a series of challenges using the immediate situations afforded him as fodder. And, while I appreciate these skills immensely, his life approach isn’t exactly what this blog post is about. It’s about one line he says during the whole show.
This line: “I don’t have a poncho, but if someone asks me if I have a poncho I don’t say no, I say no, not right now. Because I do have a blanket and some scissors, so I’m two minutes away from a poncho.”
While I am inspired by the way Demitri spends his time on this planet, I am way more blown away by this one quip. His sentiment about being able to create with tools and materials that he already has access to was revolutionary for me.
Already I can sense a few furrowed brows, as I’ve apparently seen the light on a very clearly inane concept.
But at this season of life, a simple truth such as this brings order to my curiosities and confusions. Armed with the knowledge that there is the possibility that something can exist tomorrow, that does not exist today, well, that’s a game changer for me.
This pearl of wisdom arrives on the heels of 2015, a year of impending change. Not actual change. Just the groanings of change. In my head, this change looks and sounds like giant rusty cogs and gears slowly churning against one another with the prospect of effecting motion in the greater machine.
At that time, at some point in 2015, my friend LD called this “a shift”. She knew she had to shift her thinking, her responses, her approach…to navigate through a new reality. Since then, my friend PF has changed her Facebook profile picture to a typewriter “Shift” key. Apparently, big rusty cogs are starting to move everywhere.
I love when the universe conspires to communicate a consistent message. (Her PR girl must be AMAZING.) For one, I’m a slow learner and need the message repeated. But I am moreso entertained by synchronized messages because of a theory held by my huband.
Whenever life parallels itself around me, my husband starts this monologue with the authority of a professor or an All State agent, “You know about the gorillas, right? Scientists that study primates discovered that all over the globe, these mammals started using sticks as tools at about the same time.”
The premise of an undercurrent of evolution all over the globe fascinates me. That is a bit off topic, however.
Back to the shift. In short, things can change. They just haven’t….yet. But that doesn’t make things impossible. Certain mindsets can ward them off for a while though.
Why? Because the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. I had never heard this phrase until CE shared it with me yesterday. I had always heard the first half, just didn’t know about that last part. Tomorrow’s devil, the unknown devil, thinks his anonymity can thwart movement and progress. And I have allowed it to do just that. I’ve grown comfortable with today’s devil. And my vision of anything new or different is clouded by what isn’t today. Until I learned the phrase not yet. But I do have some scissors…