ode to joy

We recently watched a strangely strident video called “Every Day of Our Lives Should Advance the Plot”, about taking control and making sure you move toward your dream everyday, as though your life were a movie and you were in charge of every detail “to advance the plot”.

We wondered how “advancing the plot” works when life throws in a monkey wrench and puts the kibosh on “the plot” you were imagining, and you realize that you’re not in control of it all…that the plot is advancing without your say so.

We’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as we see friends around us struggling with extreme and unexpected plot changes in their lives, like a diagnosis of a fatal cancer, or an illness that changes the game radically for a while. Then an email from our wise friend Margot Wellington put it into perspective:

I’ve had to learn that life has both sadness and joy. One has to accept sadness as part of living.  And one has to help make joy, learn to recognize joy, and live for the intermittent experience of joy which comes and goes and never stays.

THAT’S  the plot we would like to further each day: “to help make joy, AND learn to recognize it…” even when all hell is breaking loose…


11 Responses to ode to joy

  1. Elizabeth 12.23.2010 at 11:52pm #

    One of my mantras is that I must not despair when times get terrible because this, too will pass. And it works for times of joy and gratitude, as well, because one must not take those for granted. They, too, will pass.

  2. Cara 12.24.2010 at 3:46am #

    Beautiful post, Sally. In all ways. Thank you.

    Here is one in return: The great Django, yours for Christmas. 1950s puppets and all. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6utXewCAPw

  3. Willo 12.24.2010 at 6:21am #

    I love that idea of advancing the plot. I had never heard it before. I think in answer to your query, part of advancing the plot (at least in my life) is having faith that if you do your part, God, or the Universe, or whatever greater thing you believe in, does its part. So maybe you aren’t doing something incredibly tangible each day, but maybe it is as simple as praying, reading, meditating, believing. Those are all very powerful (if underrated) too.

  4. Carla 12.24.2010 at 8:53am #

    Beautiful! Thank you.

  5. Sally 12.24.2010 at 11:58am #

    Cara, this video is SO great. Thank you!.

  6. lydia 12.24.2010 at 12:53pm #

    I laughed out loud at that muppets video, what better way to celebrate this season, when so many of us feel completely out of control, but can still try to pull back the curtains of chaos and see clearly the blessings. Thanks again Sally for reminding us of what it is important each and every day, not just during the holidays.

  7. jody 12.24.2010 at 1:12pm #

    this conversation is so deep and wide and rich and sweet and how amazing it is that we human beans are here to have it.

    happy holidays to all of us wonderful and wonderous, perfect and imperfect, magnificent and marvelous, astounding and glorious me’s…

    waves of thank you’s….xo

  8. Sally 12.24.2010 at 6:16pm #

    These are such wonderful comments, full of generosity. It is the feeling that knocks me out daily….what a group of friends…
    Thank you all so much!

  9. Ken Rivard 09.23.2011 at 8:54am #

    No great story has ever been written about characters who have an easy time of it. All great stories require that the occasional railroad tie (or worse) be thrown in someone’s path. We want to see adversity–and how someone meets it–regardless of the outcome. The obstacles ARE the plot. Stories without them put us to sleep.

  10. Sue 09.23.2011 at 10:49pm #

    Thank you for the insignt, laughter and peace this post and the comments have brought to me.

  11. Sally 09.24.2011 at 1:04pm #

    We have to admit, we come back to look at this wondrous Muppet video periodically, because it never fails to lift our spirits and setting us on the right track.

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