Nonsense makes sense

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, which is what I do. And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss

One of the harsh realities of adulthood is just that: reality. We realize that things are not always perfect. That people don’t always kiss and make up. That the world, though beautiful, has patches of darkness.

The reality and responsibility that come with growing up can jade us, squelch our creativity – and put us in a restless rut. But I have a theory: when the world doesn’t make sense, perhaps we need a little more nonsense. More play. More fantasy that breaks us from our usual routines and lets us look at life in a different light. This kind of thinking not only makes for more joyful moments, but it allows us to – as the good doctor quotes above – “laugh at life’s realities.” It enables us to find fun in the not-so-fun and colors in the grays.

A small example: My good friend, Dave, was washing dishes the other night. Instead of dreading the chore or resenting his (very pregnant) wife with her feet up on the couch – he indulged in a moment of nonsense.

“If this scrub brush was alive (ala Toy Story),” he pondered, “what would be it’s favorite thing to clean?”

He continued,  “Probably the cups used for hot chocolate with marshmallows, since you always get that crusty chocolate/marshmallow mix around the rim.” And suddenly, there was a little magic in the mundane.

The thought isn’t new. Making games out of chores and lemons out of lemonade is an age-old concept – but it’s the young-aged that are best at it. Which is why I’m about to scoop up my 2-year old and have him help me make nonsense out of laundry.

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