Sunday, September 27, 2009

What is Mundane Mischief?

I want this blog to be a vehicle for me to experience and share instances of the benign mischief and small good deeds that make my days worthwhile.

We are playful, communal creatures at heart, yet it seems that in our culture we are required to conceal our interest in others. We ignore the people that we share our days with: those beside us on the bus or on the sidewalk. We practice our public self- absorption with our iPods and our cell phones: talking and thinking of places other than this. When something unusual happening in our environment catches our attention, most of the time we stop ourselves from looking and from asking. We turn our heads downward again; we edit ourselves, because it is none of our business and because spontaneously talking to strangers (beyond a few neutral comments, “Wow, is this is a long line!”) is creepy.

Then we go home and we check Post Secret and FMyLife. We use them to fulfill the intimacy we denied ourselves earlier in the day, when we were face to face with the very strangers who sent in these secrets and these stories. These websites are wonderful. Still, we know that the brief moment where we look into a stranger’s eye is one million times more meaningful than anything revealed in an online confessional.

I want to do my part to establish community in the moment. I want to take the chance to acknowledge and connect with the present and the people I am sharing it with, and give them the chance to do that too. I want to my acts to be just silly or strange enough to push me and those around me to react in the moment, and bypass the inner editor and its carefully constructed representations.

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