I remember this one image from my dreams last night…
I opened a freezer drawer, the kind at the bottom of a fridge, and it was full of beautiful, brightly-coloured popsicles covered in candy.
I’ve never seen them in real life.
They look goofy and pretty and fun and indulgent and delicious.
I don’t eat any candy really, but I love the look of these.
They remind me now of the movie The Witch, and Black Phillip whispering “Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?”
I think I am generally pretty good at living deliciously, in making regular days into adventures that are candy-coated, and in seeing the potential for sweet fun in regular moments.
I lose that power in a fog of bad news forgetting though.
And I feel weighted down by doubt.
Doubt in myself, and in the reasonableness of pursuing delight in a dark world. But in the dream the kid-like delight is right there, available on ice.
When I was 7 years old we moved to Los Angeles – my mom and I – to live with her new husband who had gone ahead of us to get a job. We had to live for a week or so in a shady apartment complex in a bad part of town. We had a mattress on the floor and a fridge, and the pool outside was empty, and there were dark stains in the hall. My mom asked me to play inside.
I remember now I made a game of inventing popsicle flavours with everything in the fridge, and everything in the house. I mashed things and filled small popsicle containers and conducted serious taste tests. I was oblivious to the sketchy surroundings and totally entertained.
A few days later we moved to a tiny apartment on a street hung heavy with jasmine bushes where I was allowed to play outside.
In a dark world I think we must resist the urge to put our delight on ice. Let us pull open those old drawers and share our candy-coated selves.
Our revelries, our joy. Our kid-like creativity is full of power.
So yes: retreat in order to blossom on a new street.
Rest and play to fuel your resistance.
Be kind to the little kid in you and in each of us.
Because I think they are the ones who will invent our way out of these grey days and nightmares.
Be so gentle with yourselves.