A friend of mine frequently engages me in cerebral conversations, but there are days when I am not in the mood. On those days, my playful curiosity is either ebbing or flowing, and I simply am not ready to surrender my mindfulness to such serious matters. These days are called “Monday” and “Friday.” Perhaps you’ve been there.
One of these mental tug-o-wars occurred a few months ago when somehow the phrase “half-life” landed full force in the midst of a conversation about the weather forecast. Exactly how we arrived at that point remains unknown, but I am sure that the words are echoing across the universe somewhere sending a cosmic ripple into endless galaxies. I choose not to chase them down for they bare no weight in this story. Just know that our discussions are packed full of random and unconnected tangents that he swears are relevant and brilliant. Pshaw.
I sat quietly for a few minutes listening to his pontification until I felt my eyeballs slipping out of their sockets. He unnecessarily lectured me on how "half-life" does not exist and why. I digested and processed every law of physics, quantum mechanics and even a bit of bio-engineering. Time travel, wormholes and hyperspace were also somehow injected into his presentation. I made a mental note of every word over ten letters, deciphering them with as much energy as I could muster. Eventually, though, I lost the complete ability to utilize logic to follow his argument. All of this I did without saying a word.
My mind wandered into fields of yellow daisies and bunny rabbits. I tried to find the moment of escape so that I could rest once again within my happy little imagination. I recalled what I knew about this fellow and considered the diversionary tactics that could end the battle. In my mind I scoured through our various lighter chats until I finally found what I needed. The strategy fell together in my mind as I devised the distraction. I skillfully hid my mischievous little grin, as I would not want to give him the advantage of knowing that an ambush was about to take place. I simply waited quietly for the right moment. He took a slight breath, and I knew the time to strike had come. I looked at him and said calmly and quite seriously, "Yes, but if you believe in half-life, then you can have chocolate cake forever." Game, set, match. Score one for Jen.
I giggled a bit, but not in reaction to his facial contortions that demonstrated his obvious discomfort with my suggestion or his sudden craving for chocolate cake. Instead, I was tickled with how my imagination and creativity had turned a somber moment into something that brought pure, nonsensical, unadulterated fun. To this day when I feel he is getting far too serious, I remind him of the half-life of chocolate cake. Despite his sneer, I also remind him that creativity and imagination are as significant, if not more, than the seriousness of life. I remind him that spontaneous playfulness breaks even the most sobering moments. Playfulness ignites the laughter that is needed to heal, open the mind and bring new life to old ideas. And in those moments, however brief, the spirit takes a breath and the soul dances around the fire. And in these moments creativity soars above all else.
So raise your glass and toast to the half-life of chocolate cake!
Enjoy the journey.
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