Live, Love, Laugh — Day One of Kitschy Wisdom Quest

Yesterday I outlined my “Kitschy Wisdom Quest” plan, and today is… the first day of the rest of my life. No, seriously, today is the first day of the “live by a gift shop mug-for-sale aphorism for a whole day and see how it works” plan. And today’s featured aphoristic wisdom is “Live, Love, Laugh” (sometimes known as “Live, Laugh, Love” or “Love, Laugh, Live”).

I looked through iTunes to get a featured song of the day to keep me on track. Since 1/10 of my roughly 2000 songs are about love, I decided I’d have to focus on a laughter song or a living song. And Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries, a particular Bob Fosse version of what I never knew was a George Gershwin song, got me going. Here are partial lyrics:

Life is just a bowl of cherries
Don’t take it serious,
Life’s too mysterious
You work,
You save,
You worry so
But you can’t take your dough
When you go, go, go

So keep repeating “It’s the berries.”
The strongest oak must fall
The sweet things in life
To you were just loaned
So how can you lose
What you’ve never owned

Life is just a bowl of cherries
So live and laugh, aha!
Laugh and love
Live and laugh,
Laugh and love,
Live and laugh at it all!

Good advice, huh? I think this is the Biblical “don’t worry concept.” Knowing that since God clothed the lilies, he will take care of us. Knowing that he knows every hair on our heads. Knowing that Psalm 139 is right that we are in his view wherever we are. Knowing that Romans 8 is right that we can’t escape from Jesus’ love.

So “live, love, laugh” should be a daily given. But “live, love, laugh” proved harder to live out than I had expected. Living is one thing if it’s breathing that we’re after. That rather comes naturally. Though I did throw up on an American flag on the first day of first grade, way back when, when I momentarily forgot whether breathing was voluntary or involuntary… but that’s a story for another day.

But living in the sense of appreciating life, inhabiting it vs. just moving through it… that’s another matter.

And loving… always challenging. Even when our lives are filled with often-lovable people, with good people, with gifts of relationship. I paid attention today to the love factor. I wasn’t notably unloving. But I wasn’t naturally loving either. I was just there. Going through the motions a bit.

And laughing… where did that go? I had no idea this mug madness would be so depressing. When you live a day looking for the points of laughter, and they aren’t there… you wonder why. And how to get them back. There’s comic laughter (as in “I always crack up when I tell my favorite joke from 7th grade about Howard Johnson’s”; don’t ask!) and then there’s joyful laughter that comes from a certain levity, a resigned awareness that our management of the universe is not critical or a matter for white-knuckling. Something like the practice of the present moment seems to invite laughter; for it’s ludicrous to imagine that my attention to seriousness is necessary or even helpful in the running of the universe or my family or my own life. What can I really control anyway??

I did do some thinking about whether I needed to seek out George Carlin material, do a YouTube search for “funny,” call one of my friends with whom I laugh and who make me feel funny, or just simply to lighten up and quit taking everything so seriously. I gotta think about this.

Tomorrow seems like a good day for this mug aphorism: “Whatever.” Stay tuned.

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~ by Cary on July 1, 2008.

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