I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, May 1, 2022

May Day 2022

It's so thrillium to find trillium

 Today is the beginning of a new month, the beautiful month of May at the tail end (we all hope anyway) of a two-year pandemic, but stuck somewhere in the midst of an awful war in Europe. I sincerely hope it (the war) will be over soon, too, and join the pandemic in the ash heap of history.

I learned that the term "Mayday" when written as one word is considered a universal signal of distress and has been around for more than a century. Written as two words, it's a spring festival of light and joy, dancing around the Maypole, baskets hanging on doorknobs filled with treats and candy. It took me a few minutes to decide to title this post as a joyful moment, rather than as a distress signal. Let's have fun today!

It has been so wonderful to get outdoors here in the Pacific Northwest and see all the spring flowers everywhere, all at once. It's like a fairyland out there, and with all the rain we are blessed with, they cannot seem to help themselves from sprouting and showing their incredible profusion at this moment in time. I'm glad to be able to see and share what I am experiencing with you, dear reader.

It's interesting that my skydiving years keep inserting themselves in today's circumstances. Melanie started a conversation on Facebook with some people I was acquainted with when I was active in the sport. She was so excited to learn about their accomplishments, and as we discussed it, that was when I realized how removed I feel from those days. That was then, and now I am in a different world. But two decades ago, I read my Parachutist Magazine from cover to cover, and now I glance at it, but I don't really feel much connection, other than to those who are still around from those days. Unfortunately, many of my old friends have either died or walked away from the sport themselves, and the new generation and I have little in common. There was a time when I could not have imagined my situation today, thinking that some part of me would always crave to be in freefall again. Nope. I've moved on.

At first I thought it would be fun to write a humorous post, one filled with jokes and laughter, but you know what? I couldn't find any jokes that I thought fit with my mood. Humor is an interesting topic: what makes something funny to one person and not to another? I looked online for the best one-liner jokes and found few to be actually humorous. Then I read the Wikipedia page about humour and found that it is indeed a very slippery concept. Although it's definitely worthwhile to laugh and find the amusement in our everyday lives, it's not easily defined or appreciated. 

I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. —Groucho Marx

Now that's the spirit! I watched the White House Correspondents' Dinner on TV last night, and there were quite a few good jokes and only a few of them were groaners. Trevor Noah knows humour and can dispense it with only a little barb now and then. Mostly it's enough to make me smile but not enough to make me laugh out loud. My friend John sends me jokes that often make me laugh and sometime when I re-read them I find they are not all that funny after all. A curious thing, humor (or humour). 

On another topic, these days I spend some time in the morning, usually, solving the daily Wordle. It gives me such pleasure to actually get the word, and I've gotten pretty good at it. Do you do it, too? You can play it online, free of charge, and it's not exactly easy, but I've only been stumped a few times. You get six chances to solve the word of the day. Check it out here if you don't already know about it. But trust me, it's addictive. I did find a cartoon about it rather funny. 

Do you find it funny, too?

I snagged this from the New Yorker. I tried to sign up to receive the magazine (which I enjoy very much) but it's too expensive for me these days. I have enough online subscriptions already, where I spend way too much of my time as it is. It sure is nice, though, to peruse my usual subscriptions and catch up on the day's events. And so much easier on my mental state, rather than turning on the TV and getting frustrated with all those commercials, and being fed the same story over and over, learning nothing new. Much better to pick and choose.

Well, I tried to write a post without being all doom-and-gloomy, to make a couple of my readers happy. I guess I've been concentrating too much lately on ageing, growing older and losing my faculties, and hanging out with topics that bring them down. Perhaps this post will be more uplifting. Whatever you decide to do with your day today, I do hope you find some time to smile and laugh. Remember, it's May Day, not Mayday!

And I hope that you will find some time to get fresh air into your lungs, breathe deeply and even smell the flowers if you can. Why not? It feels good, it's good for you, and I'm sure the flowers appreciate being admired. And with that, it's time for me to wrap up this post and give myself some time to get ready to head out with John for our usual Sunday breakfast. Thank you for coming along with me on this wonderful and magical May Day!!!


Marie Smith said...

It amazes me how things which filled our lives at one point became unimportant later in life. As we leave an interest, a younger generation takes our places. Our lives will be like that eventually. The realization makes the now so important. Coffee with a friend takes on a whole new meaning. Enjoying the blooms is everything!

Have a wonderful week, Jan.

Rian said...

"Humor is an interesting topic: what makes something funny to one person and not to another?"
It IS an interesting topic... and similar to what makes a subject fascinating to one person and boring to another. I've often wondered about this. In general I don't like slap stick (3 stooges, etc.)... but on occasion, it does make me laugh. I tend to like dry humor (Bob Newhart), and know that I don't like dark humor. But it's true, we need to laugh more and release the tension that has built up these last few years. It's not Mayday, it's May Day!
Enjoy nature, take a walk, plant a garden, smile more, and worry less!

ApacheDug said...

Happy May Day, DJan--I enjoyed today's read, it was breezy and a bit lighter than usual, much like the date. (And I wouldn't say you're filled with doom & gloom, more like introspection and empathy.) I'd also like to say that whenever you bring up your skydiving days, you seem almost apologetic for it; I think it's very healthy that that you're able to say it's behind you now, but it's not like you did it once or twice and still talk about it. I just know I've always enjoyed your sharing your memories of it. Hope the week ahead keeps you light on your feet.

Linda Reeder said...

I do like that line, "It's May Day, not Mayday!"
As I look out my office window this morning at almost 8:00, I see a white sky and lots of green and dogwood flowers. I need to get going so I can get out there. I bought a big pot roast at the store yesterday, planning to cook it today, but I have delayed that until Monday, when it is predicted to rain. That will be the perfect time to fill the house with good cooking smells and prepare food that will last us for most of the week.
Today is a day to be outside! I will plant some newly purchased plants, and tear into some big patio pots that need to be redone. I'll need Tom's help for the heavy work. And I'll enjoy all of the flowers and growing things in my garden. If I had a May Pole, and I was more nimble, I would do a dance like my ancestors did, and my distant cousins still do in Sweden, only they wait until summer solstice, because it is still too cold for flowers on May Day there. We live in the most wonderful climate and the most beautiful surroundings here in the coastal PNW! We will rejoice and be happy!
And about 4:00 or so I will settle in my recliner for a rest and work today's WORDLE. It's good brain exercise. Oh, and about humor, and laughing, I find most often I am laughing at myself these days. As I find my faculties slipping and I am doing strange things I can either laugh or cry. I choose laughing.

Rita said...

I have not gotten near Wordle...yet.
Thinking May Day and not Mayday is a good thing. I've been staying away from the news for quite a while. You can read headlines and have the basics in short order because they do tend to repeat and repeat. Life has been rough enough. I chose to be content and laughing as much as possible. ;)
Looking back it is like we have lived different chapters over the years. Some can be so very different from others. Have a fabulous week in this current chapter of your life. :) :)

Elephant's Child said...

Happy May Day!!!
Humour is tricky isn't it? Much the same things make us happy or sad, but laughter seems to be very individual.
I spend more than enough time on line so I haven't been tempted by Wordle. Yet.
Have a wonderful day dear friend.

Arkansas Patti said...

Ok, you sent me down the rabbit hole curious about Mayday. It was a take on a French word "m'aider", which means “help me". Ok, am out of the rabbit hole now and am enjoying May Day along with you.
I am avoiding Wordle since I became addicted to JigZone and computer jig saw puzzles. My addictive personality would definitely fall under the spell. Am Wordleless for now.
Have a wonderful May Day.

Sheila said...

I love to start my day with word puzzles like the NYT Spelling Bee, Wordle and Quordle. Give Quordle a try--four times the fun!

Gigi said...

I am definitely into Wordle - and today's was a stumper and I didn't get it. Oh well, there's always tomorrow. As Sheila mentioned, I'm also into Quordle (also free) and am getting better at it.

Enjoy these beautiful May Days, my friend!

Red said...

I like wordle. I am addicted to it. My best run is nine. I can't seem to beat 9.

Anvilcloud said...

Sue is tickled by visual humour, but word play is what gets to me. Obviously, there is overlap on either side.

Galen Pearl said...

I love Wordle, and thought it was a good thing that there is only one puzzle a day. And then a friend got me hooked on Quordle. Oh no! While there is still only one official puzzle a day, there are unlimited practice games.

Like you, I walked away from something I loved without regret or looking back, something I thought I would do and love till I died. Surprising isn't it, how something that was such a passion for so many years can become a happy memory as we move on to other things?

Far Side of Fifty said...

I play Wordle some days, Happy May! This month we might get Spring! I have been busy everyday...always something that requires my attention! :)

William Kendall said...

I have not gotten into Wordle.

Linda Myers said...

I do Worldle, Quordle and Octordle!