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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Over the Rainbow

  This is the hardest part for me lately it seems.  Yeah, this part.  The beginning of it.  In fact I've had the idea for this post bouncing around since last November.

  Best just to get to it I guess.

  For the longest time I'd spoil myself on Saturdays listening to NPR.  It started years and years ago when I first started listening to A Prairie Home Companion on Saturday nights.  Wow, a real live radio show.  How cool.  I gave that up though.  Fell out of the habit.  Then in the car one afternoon I stumbled across This American Life with Ira Glass.  What an experience that show is.  I find they tell stories in such profoundly moving ways.  In fact I remember telling someone once that I'd like to write the way that show makes me feel.  And there's always Car Talk of course.  I guess people either love that show or hate it.  I find it highly amusing.  There's a fairly new show on called Snap Judgement too.  It's tag is "Story telling with a beat."  There are loads more that have filled the void through the years.  Quiz shows, story shows, news shows.  They were all entertaining in their way.  They all get my brain going.

  It was when I was listening to a show late one Saturday afternoon called Studio 360 that things changed a bit for me.  The show was all about The Wizard of Oz.  I was going to tell you all about the show.  How Salmon Rushdie saw it numerous times when he was younger.  All sorts of stuff.  Instead I'll give you the link here so you can listen for yourself if you'd like.  I will hit a highlight or two though.  You know, things in keeping with what we usually talk about here.   I guess you could call that a spoiler alert of sorts if you do plan on listening to the story on Studio 360.

  So, I gotta ask, what message do you remember when you think of The Wizard of Oz?  There's no place like home maybe?  That'd be my top guess.  I can hear Dorothy saying that phrase as clearly as if she were standing next to me.  Maybe you think of Over the Rainbow.  You know, where blue birds fly.  Dorothy pines for escape.  There's always the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion wanting to feel better about themselves.  I have a friend I used to work with that always whistled, or hummed maybe, If I Only had a Brain. That was usually as we were trying to figure something out.  I continue that tradition.

  Salmon Rushdie read from his book about The Wizard of Oz on Radio 360. He opines in that book about home, Our birthplace.  How it isn't a destination to get back to, it's a launch pad.

  Singing Over the Rainbow Dorothy yearns to get away.  To start an adventure.  To see something besides Kansas.  To leave home.  Boy, does she ever.  And, yes, she goes home again.  Did you know though that she leaves again?  Yup.  She  packs up Auntie Em and Uncle Henry and goes back to Oz.

  Now, why on earth would she do that?

  Well, besides the fact that the farm in Kansas was facing foreclosure, I think good ol' Dorothy might've learned a thing or two.

  I think Dorothy learned to live life as an adventure.  She came to know that just because something is safe and familiar that doesn't mean that it's the best  thing since sliced bread.  She realized that life can be exciting.  She didn't have to settle for the farm.  Yearning for something better is  ok.

  Well, I suppose you know where all of this is going.  All this talk of launch pads, and adventure, and yearning must be going somewhere, right?

  Oh, you know me by now.

  It's ok to dream.  It's ok to want something more than what you have.  It's what we humans do.

  You hold the key though dear reader.  You must set things in motion.  You have to do the work.  You have to find that thing that's missing and work toward it.  It's all up to you.

  No one is going to do it for you.

  Keep your sticks on the ice