What if the answers were simple?
Could we be trying a little too hard to answer the question of the meaning of life? I mean, we always knew the answers were in the back of the book, and sometimes we let ourselves take a glimpse back there, but we still worked from one end to the other…that is to say, in school. So why wouldn’t we in life? Why can’t we already know? Or, rather, what if we do?
I think we’d still ask the question.
Flower was a video game released on the Playstation Network a few years back by a company simply called thatgamecompany (no capitals, because why not?). Its only point, by surface observation, was simply to be a flower on the wind. However, as you drifted about to other flowers, they would bloom, and you’d be rewarded with a dainty little musical flourish.
Don’t tell me you’ve never had an analogous experience in your life. We all know that feeling, to see a person bloom like a flower. We’re not mice—give a man a cookie, and you are more likely than not to see the expression about which I write. Some days, this is more likely than others.
Conventional western wisdom would try and break this down into a formula: on what day would your cookie go the farthest? Right? Well, damn conventional western wisdom. Expectation and, nature forbid, the maximization of effect or chance at reward shouldn’t stop you from giving away a cookie; hell, wait too long and those things go stale.
The music of Flower* is just perfect for this time of year. Open the windows on a pleasant day. Air out the sheets. Do a slow kind of yoga, or just sit against a wall and let your eyes close (you may discover that that’s yoga, too). If weather and time permits, for the love of God, go outside. Spend some time alone. Watch the ships come in or the cars go by. Make up stories. Wonder. As evolved forms of prey animals, our fantasy mind is weighted heavily towards hypothesizing bad if not worst-case scenarios. We need (I use that word rarely, but it’s appropriate here) to exercise the opposite: dream pleasant dreams, making up good stories, happy stories, while the world gives us leave to do so, so when the time comes that we would normally dwell on the scary possibilities in life, we have the experience to dream up an alternate possibility.
So don’t dream big. Dream little. But colorful. That’s my advice. That’s how you might add some color to the world.
*I have not been able to find a method of purchasing or downloading the Flower soundtrack, and can’t track it down on Spotify. A Youtube playlist will have to do!