I Think I'm Getting Too Serious

Not being able to enjoy whimsy is a danger sign.

"Opening of XXII Winter Olympic Games (2338-13).jpg" by Presidential Press and Information Office is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

I was trying to watch a fantasy movie the other day, and it just couldn't keep my interest. I switched over to a documentary, and that was much better – watched the whole thing.

It bothers me that I'm not able to put up with whimsy much anymore. I've never been a big fan of puzzles and such, because I don't like to spend time on things with pre-conceived ends and pre-written rules where all you do is uncover the tracks someone else laid down for you to find.

But not being able to put up with whimsy! That seems like a real warning sign. What is creativity but playing with the idea that not everything is as we perceive it? It's an acceptance – an embrace, really – of the idea that life still holds surprises, that if we just twist things that little bit, or take the time to go down that road we've always passed by, we might find something new and fresh and exciting.

I've always had a serious bent, even as a child. The very nickname my siblings used to mock me with poked fun at it. But being serious doesn't mean not having fun. I believe in fun, as long as it's seriously fun. JRR Tolkien is fun. Jane Austen is a hoot. But today's stories are just too reductionist and simplistic. And serializing something already so stripped down makes them excruciatingly boring. Pick your streaming show. Nine times out of ten the dialog will be an endless stream of dull, meaningless detail.

The mind rebels. I get all the dullness I need out of real life. I turn to entertainment to be transported.

Surely part of my problem is spending too much on politics. Politics is the joy killer. Nothing will sap your delight in the human race like doom scrolling through an endless parade of me-too-me-too political comments. And the politicians! Completely unserious, they shovel crap into the maw, and the people shout for more.

And I just know this is going to affect my music. Music comes from the mind as well as the heart. If I fill my head with dull, plodding ideas, that's what's going to come out in the music. And that would kill me.

How do YOU keep your flame alive?


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