Get Inta The Cartoon, Heidi!
Yesterday that’s what my brother emailed me. No one else would have any idea what that means, but I do.
Flashback: 1958, 2 kids sitting on the floor in front of the TV watching black and white cartoons. He was 5 and I was 7. It was a typical Saturday with Looney Tunes, the two of us in our footie pajamas eating breakfast as we sat so close to the old console TV that we were in the action.
Volume up, cereal box and handy milk jug on the wooden floor as we dug in for the best part of the morning while Mom and Dad slept. Unforgettable, those 1950s cartoons of Tom Terrific: Robinsnest Crusoe Part 1 especially that line, “yo ho ho and a bottle of pop!” (You can tell the rewrite didn’t keep me from discovering the real stuff.)
I recently wrote my brother Randy with some detail about our past, my email jumping from one thought to another. At the end I apologized for my enthusiastic random burst of topics.
Jeeeze,,, Heid,,, I can’t hardly handle how much I gotta holler at you about stuff. Whaddya mean ‘ yer gettin offa topic’ ?…! How yall gonna remember alla this great fifty year old stuff if you caint cut yer mind loose,,, stop thinkin you gotta be structured alla the time,,, I ‘m not gonna jump in front of a packa wolves if you say somethin wierd n then I miss interpret it n figger there’s no hope for alla humanity, ,,,,,, get into the CARTOON! You can DO IT!! I just know it,,,
There’s the flashback. The same scenario would play out nearly every Saturday morning. I always got stuck my head, analyzing the cartoon, especially when it was upsetting.
“Ya that’s pretty much the way it went. Tom Terrific would lose Wonder Dog for a second n you’d come unglued,,, couldn’t deal with alla the implications n stress related behavioral issues. Then acourse he’d look along the flat line horizon using his funnel hat like a telescope, n there would be Wonder Dog n everything would be fine,,, but acourse you wanted to know how come they hadda ruin yer life like that,,,, it never ended. I’d rather die than be an English Major,,,Porky Pig would blast Daffy Ducks beak backwards on his head so he would talk backwards n you wanted to know the deeper meaning of it all,,,”
Yup. Every Saturday. Looney Tunes are an apt metaphor for my inability to reside in the now. Enjoying the moment? Not me. I’d have to be thinking, rewriting, working on the plot, being too inside the action and suffering emotional upheavals that aren’t even mine. I’m thinkin’ I was born this way. I’m also thinkin’ I’m nearly 62 ‘n I don’t have to stay this way!
Can’t I choose to get into the now by making a considered effort? Can’t I relax, not concern myself with the past or worry about the future, or try to make things different in the present? Is it possible for me to ‘get into the cartoon’ and just enjoy the moment, watching life as it happens without trying to fix things or analyze the problems? Hmmm.
I’m only responsible for my experience moment by moment. The plot is not mine to structure. I’m not the author of the cartoon, I’m not Daffy Duck or Tom Terrific. I’m not responsible for the Looney Tunes on the tube… just the ones in my head! He’s right. I need to stay in the now, experience each moment and be consciously in it. I can do it! I just know it! I’m gonna get into the CARTOON!
To quote Tom, TeeeeeeRiiific!