Banks -- well, banks and insurance companies --

are sucking my will to live today.  If you missed last Tuesday's drawing, here it is:

That's me giving bank-guy a piece of my mind.  And it expresses the continuing saga better than I can in words.

The details! 
The fine print!
The utterly ridiculous minutiae of every kind!
Just when I think I've jumped through every last hoop, another presents itself. 

Today is a day to be glad we're blog buddies.  Let's just leave it at that, shall we?

I am by nature a detail-oriented person -- my work is all about the little stuff -- so one would think that I have an endless amount of patience for them.  But I guess the fact is, I'm very picky about my details, and the ones that don't make the cut on my list of importance only annoy me.  

So since I'm busy with forms, forms, and more forms and an avalanche of accompanying annoyances, I thought it might be a good time to re-visit this post from 1.07.09 -- sort of a "Note to Self", so to speak:


I love this cartoon . . .  although I had to think about it for a couple of days to figure out what about it made me stop and think (besides the fact that it's by L.K.Hanson, who is one of my favorites).

Here's what I've come up with:

1) It's about the future, and for a worrier such as myself, the future is always there. We have quite a few members of the worrier club in my family -- we lovingly refer to our malady as the "what ifs" -- a disease we would gladly be rid of if we could just figure out how to do it. So to say "I never think of the future" is a revolutionary, mesmerizing and utterly foreign idea to me.

2) How did someone with Albert Einstein's vision never think of the future? Doesn't vision imply seeing ahead? This may occur to the rest of you immediately, but I had to mull it over a little before I came to this conclusion:

Albert Einstein never thought about the future because he was too busy trying to understand the things that were going on around him. Going on around all of us, for that matter.


His vision involved looking around and then understanding what he was seeing. He must have been so busy concentrating on "now" that he didn't have time to waste on "what ifs". Wow.

And of course then I remembered that Maira Kalman (one of my other favorite purveyors of ideas married to pictures) said something about Einstein, so I looked it up:

Maira Kalman

Click on it so you can read it -- you'll say, "Susan, that's not really about Einstein at all -- it's about Johannes Kepler." You're right, of course, but isn't it marvelous? And Johannes Kepler was so busy looking around the 1605-ish night sky (without a telescope) that he was able to figure out the elliptical orbit of Mars.

I guess I've never really 
looked closely at anything . . . ?

I know you've met her before but she felt she needed to stop by again and remind us to start using our imaginations in some useful ways and stop using them to imagine all the awful things that might, but almost certainly won't, happen.

What if my imagination were 
100% available for me because 
it wasn't busy doing useless things? 
Imagine. . .


Just when I was certain daytime television had become an intellectual wasteland that was surely a precursor to the demise of western civilization, Jim Carrey said something on a talk show that made me actually get out a pencil and jot. The gist of what he said was this:

Always say yes to what's coming, 
because what's coming is going to be awesome.

That's how we keep going forward, isn't it? By saying "yes" to what's coming and then looking (and sometimes working) to understand the awesomeness of it?

Maira Kalman

But let's not walk too fast.

Hollywood is full of surprises because in a movie trailer I saw recently there was a line about how you can only understand life backward but you have to live it forward. I thought that was rather brilliant, but now I've decided it is outshone by the brilliance of concentrating on here and on now. You'll be forced to move forward soon enough.

When you're busy living your life on the road to somewhere else, it gets pretty tiring. Perhaps it's better to unpack the suitcase and look around at the tourist attractions right in the room you're in.

Yes, you. Get off the bus at the next stop. Do a little sightseeing for a change. That's probably the only way to avoid speeding right past things like the Theory of Relativity.

 * * *

(Which means I should probably get out from under this pile of paperwork and step outside to appreciate some of the finer details of this last-sunshiny-late-late-summer day, because our demise is scheduled for later this week.  Happy Monday!



Leenie said...

Random comments:

I'm waiting for paint to dry. Unfortunately watercolor dries faster than the time I want to waste reading blogs.

...and we've been poisoned by these fairy tales. The lawyers dwell on small details...(name that tune without Google.)

Details come in so many forms. Different people like different details. I like your details.

I agree having to wash and iron a collar the size of a snow tire for a cranky husband would probably send me to an early grave.

Get out from under that pile of moronic paperwork and enjoy autumn before it turns to the "S" word.

Allie said...

I LOVE this post. I want to keep this post and read it every day for the rest of my life. We must be related Susan, there's a large group of us "what-ifs" in my family too.

Paperwork - well, it's good for burning on a cold night. Our news said FROST Friday morning.

susan m hinckley said...

Leenie -- I love your random comments. They were like a post within my post. And why can't I name that tune? I will be going to Google next....

Allie -- we're twins separated at birth. Except you're the Republican twin, and I'm the Democrat. Good thing I'm open-minded. Frost here too.....EEEEEEK!!!

Leenie said...

That's okay, I had to Google those words to match them with the song myself. Wait...your a DEMOCRAT?

susan m hinckley said...

I know, shocking, right?!

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