‘Act Normal’

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Digging into Susie Moloney‘s Things Withered one story at a time, an inner squeal of delighted connection sounded with the snap of a stretched-too-far elastic band when I read the short titled, Wife.

Act Normal.

Once, she remembered, this guy and her were walking down the street, she was drunk, she couldn’t remember if she’d even known at the time if the guy was drunk of not, but they were walking down the street at about four in the morning, and he saw someone he knew, and he said to her, “Shh, act normal.” She tried.

This passage was, for me, in Dr. Sheldon Cooper speak, that magic Bazinga moment when you totally ‘get’ the character.

I can’t recall, never mind assign a precise number to, the many times my sister would cast me a quick sideways glance and order me to ‘act normal’. When the last command came I was a little too rooted in adulthood and a little too separated from the family pack to zip up and obey. “What do you mean, act normal?”

That slap of disobedience hit my sister so hard I’m sure it left a mark. With the help of a head shake, she recovered, and said, “You know, don’t be weird.”

Weird. Right. Because I so often burst into spontaneous chicken dance. Clucking. Flapping. Snapping my beak.

A few years later, a beau took me out to dinner, but no ordinary dinner. I’d passed enough muster to meet his hallowed older brother. We walked into the restaurant, he squeezed my hand, and whispered in my ear. “Don’t do anything weird.”

Act Normal.

The mysterious art of acting normal still fresh in my mind, I read my daily dose of Seth Godin, The Debilitating Myth of Musical Chairs. Click to read, it’ll be worth your while.

Says Guru Seth, who I can not imagine ever having a moment of self-doubt:

A little slow on the trigger, I was the last one over to lunch. To my horror, there were only 29 seats at the long table. All of my Jungian anxieties triggered in one moment. No room for you, you don’t belong here, you probably shouldn’t have come in the first place.

Does this mean self doubt and anxiety are n-o-r-m-a-l?

Again, I say, click to read, so you can learn how epic disaster, as Seth described, was averted.

In my mind, Susie’s short and Seth’s post fit together with the sizzle of synchronicity. And in the throes of my second The Artist’s Way read, I’m totally tapped into the synchronicity gig.

Some say, write to market. You know,

Act Normal.

I say (with a little help from the Bard), To thine own self be true.

 

The Day That You Spin From Your Little Cocoon

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No matter the hemisphere, every life experiences a little winter. Winter is sleet and slush, dips in temperature and drifts in snow, icicles and icy toes. Winter can be a season of heartbreak, loneliness, and trials.

Surely as a bleak winter passes, the first day of spring arrives, the day that we spin from our little cocoons.

I am moved by this song by Shaye, Canadian trio of singer-songwriters Kim Stockwood, Tara Maclean and Damhnait Doyle. True Wildflowers these ladies must be, for the lyrics (below) are filled with hope, resilience, and courage.

~*~

So you’ve come to this bridge
In an unfamiliar land
You know it’s a bridge you are going to walk on
And the only thing you know is
Everything you know
Will do you no good from here on

And the day that you spin
From your little cocoon
Well, you can’t be prepared
For the beauty you’ll find there
And you will find beauty
In the toughest of places
And I will be thinking of you out there

So pick up your bags
Look around at your friends
And you know none of them
Would ever have enough strength
To cross the bridge and lose control
I never felt this bold
Never felt this good

And the day that you spin
From your little cocoon
Well, you can’t be prepared
For the beauty you’ll find there
And you will find beauty
In the toughest of places
And I will be thinking of you

Stay true to your nomad skies
Keep your eyes out for coyote
A thousand secrets are lost
In the archival dust
So lay your ears upon the tracks

One day you will come back
With wrinkled hands and grey hair
And there you will stand on the spot
And you’ll marvel how the place is still the same
Though you are somebody else now
Fly on butterfly

And the day that you spin
From your little cocoon
Well, you can’t be prepared
For the beauty you’ll find there
And you will find beauty
In the toughest of places
And I will be thinking of you out there

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